Janaína Dutra – A lady of Iron

Director: Vagner De Almeida

Produçtion: GRAB – Grupo de Resistência Asa Branca

Time: 50 minutos

Colr (NTSC) – Estereo – DVD

Video Digital

Brasil – 2011

“They taught us to carry the flag of the penis in front of us

They taught us to carry behind an asshole as an armor

They taught us, therefore, to carry half life in front and half life behind

They taught us everything wrong.”

(Glauco Mattoso)

The sertão* drowns itself with the raining; the dryness turns into music; the vision drowns itself in the possibility of life, freedom. The raining invades the dry soil and gives to the sprout: Jaime a rosebud named Janaína. A twisted angel hurried to dress up herself like a boy. In the hurry, in the confusion of her mission, they pushed so soon his coming and his passing away. Death and life present in a complex set among victories and withdraws. Starting by Janaína’s death to maintain the protesting flag of life. From the dried interior soil, passing through the world back to the interior again; this is the journey of Janaína Dutra –A lady of Iron, film of Vagner de Almeida.

The documentary doesn’t make any mistake. The camera seems to confuse itself with the spectator’s eyes; they seem to be side to side or even to face the sincere closest speeches. It seems that we are seated beside her mother: grounded, proud, near the memorable photographs of his son; as she told him to be the son whom she was mostly proud of. And it couldn’t be different. Ceará, Canindé, Brazil instances which by themselves would define the fate of a little boy that liked to play with high heel shoes. He, there would be still the remaining sexism that put him in this between-place, in this way, yet to be trailed to the gender that didn’t chose to walk in, due to the infamous correct clothing. But Janaína went beyond the dried soil and the richness of the dried homeland that could provide. In the very case of Janaína, the richness came from the family’s friendly core and from the dryness came the World outside, the city of rocks, the Fortress.

It’s hard to put myself out of this text, without borrowing the free subjective indirect perspective of Vagner’s direction and try to – see us like northeasters – see in each situation, in each suffered face, in each speech immensely proud. Vagner knew with poetry to get the moments in which the poetry itself drifted from the cast of Janaina’s life plot. Each word seemed to be a rehearsal, for it was so perfect how they manifested the care, friendship and respect for this activist.

Janaína hold with strength the trophy with proud, being the unique, at her time, the first transvestite to register in the OAB (Lawyers Syndicate in Brazil) acting as an altruist lawyer – forgive-me by the manliness of the Portuguese language, I’m gonna use the female gender from now on – and a fighter for the Transvestites’cause. A kind of Messiah with a cane to teach her people, the Others. The Knowledge as a key to freedom. A door trough which she changed into proud, from which she could get in and out as a citizen, without being a prostitute, knowing that this way – chosen for most of her friends – would be the choice of many. But she was aware that this couldn’t be the only one.

Her fight embodied not only the fight for the transvestites, but reached the claims of the human rights, being victim and protagonist of her own ideology. She was arrested, but soon set herself free as she was playing the hide and seek game; or as she could protest for the arbitrarinesses of the heterosexual world. I ask myself: who was not willing to the world? Who was the victim? These are some questions to be solved before and after watching the film.

She fought against her own fate, but she was involved in collaboration to the Health Minister in the process of the first HIV campaign for prevention of the disease among transvestites; she took part of lots of events that promoted learning about the public policies, and many other activities of her ideology and of her own body.

The hurry for getting dressed the dress brought the fast discourse, the fast demanding for the ticket of her life. The best part of this documentary is to make possible to register her discourse when she was still alive in strength, voice, body and courage of the protagonist-character of many other histories. Watch this film documented and retold by her family and parents is more than a regular register. The director knew how to sew every possible stitching of her life, sewing up a magic chita**, revealing all the legacy left form this transvestite who had a name.

It is impossible not to follow the crying of each interviewed at the end of the movie. The crying seems to be a single one that rocks the final sound track. Maria Bethânia transforms and gives sense to the poetry and life to whom fought for a cause without trembling a single moment. Nothing could restrain Janaína. Maybe her literacy set her free and encapsulated her at the same time, but the fact is that being what se was enabled us to free us than to chain her.

A masterpiece worth a prize***

* the typical dried soil of some reggions of the northeast of Brazil.

**chita is a kind of a regional type of clothing

** *5º For Rainbow Cinema Festival of Culture and Diversity, to the movie picture.

The Association of the São Paulo Proud Parade – 11º Prize “Citizenship and Respect to the Diversity- Best documentary and also for the history of gay activism of the director.

Roberto Muniz Dias

Wrote Adeus a Aleto by Escandalo Editor, is permanent columnist of the http://www.gay1.com.br website and signs up the blog htt://noposthumousparty.wordpress.com


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