Naomi Campbell, It’s Not Easy to Become a Different Person 2016
Distributed by Pragda, 302 Bedford Ave., #136, Brooklyn, NY 11249
Produced by Videla & Camila Donoso
Directed by Videla & Camila Donoso
DVD, color, 85 min. Spanish with English subtitles
Gender Identity, Social Sciences
Date Entered: 08/15/2017Reviewed by LaRoi Lawton, Library & Learning Resources Department, Bronx Community College of the City University of New York
This raw and profanely laced fictional documentary explores the life of a chain smoking transgender named Yermen. It tells the story of Yermen who is trying to get on a TV plastic surgery competition show to earn money for gender change surgery. The film is straightforward in the sense that the viewer watches how Yermen lives day-to-day with her sometimes male boyfriend. She is determined to become a woman and the viewer sees her discussion with the medical doctors about the specialized surgery process as well as the psychological reasons about why she wants to transform. Her daily prayers to her statues surrounded by lit candles add to the rumor among the neighbors that she is a witch. The scenario appears to be a town in a Latin American country. At some point Yermen meets another woman who wants to look like the world famous model, Naomi Campbell.
I am unclear where this film is going or what the actual statement the producers are trying to make as the scenes throughout this docu-drama is dark and surreal. The tragedy here is that I feel that the producers could have made a better go at this as the past few decades have ushered in a more progressive exploration of transidentity through cinema. It contains strong language and adult situations, (a man cutting his vein with a razor in Yerman’s house, then standing in the doorway of their house in a shirt and underwear).
This one unfortunately for me was dark.