Casa Roshell is a club in Mexico City run by Roshell Terranova as both a drag joint and an adult education kind of initiative for people looking to blur gender lines, specifically men, straight or not, looking to discover femininity. Camila Jose Donoso made a documentary about the club, dipping her toe into personal stories of club employees, clients and guests, and going back and forth between techniques.
I had low expectations about this film during a long take of a person beating their face before putting on a dress: it’s hard to woo me merely with portrayal of drag, trans issues or any other queer stuff, there needs to be more. However, this film raises important questions about relationships, intimacy and identity. It’s drenched in the fatigue of people who live in the future but have to commute through the past, and makes a compelling, albeit brief study of gender capitalism. Also, there is a lot of genuine sweetness in it, and there’s nothing better than genuine sweetness.
Casa Roshell, 2017
Director: Camila José Donoso