To Die Like a Man

Morrer como um homem

“Pure enchantment… This is a beguiling, original and unclassifiable film.” — Tom Charity, Sight & Sound
Year: 2009
Running time: 133 mins
Censor Rating: R18 - sex scenes, content that may disturb

Producer: Maria João Sigalho
Screenplay: João Pedro Rodrigues, Rui Catalão, João Rui Guerra da Mata
Photography: Rui Poças
Editors: Rui Mourão, João Pedro Rodrigues
Production designer: João Rui Guerra da Mata
Costume designer: Patrícia Dória
Sound: Nuno Carvalho
In Portuguese with English subtitles

With: Fernando Santos (Tonia), Alexander David (Rosário), Gonçalo Ferreira de Almeida (Maria Bakker), Chandra Malatitch (Zé Maria), Jenny Larrue (Jenny), Cindy Scrash (Irene), Fernando Gomes (Teixeira), Miguel Loureiro (Paula), André Murraças (Dr Felgueiras)

Festivals: Cannes (Un Certain Regard), Toronto, New York, Vancouver 2009; San Francisco 2010

Staggering and indescribably strange, João Pedro Rodrigues’ tale of a Lisbon drag queen’s late gender-identity crisis sets us up for grunge, angst and melodrama. And then draws us into a woodland fantasia where the spirits of Lewis Carroll and Oscar Wilde seem to preside, and the forest itself is in drag, uncertain of its true nature. — BG.

“The idea of biology as destiny is given a provocative slant in Rodrigues’ extravagant, darkly funny and ultimately moving melodrama. With her blonde wig and stout dimensions, Tonia resembles John Waters’ late muse, Divine, while the tragic air she carries could be cribbed from Dark Victory-era Bette Davis. In a surreal rural sequence that culminates in a spectacular red lunar eclipse, Tonia and drag diva friend Maria hunt the mythical snipe, but the most mythical creature in the woods might be Tonia herself as she straddles male and female worlds.” — Pam Grady, San Francisco International Film Festival

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