Hector Ceballos' 16-minute short Remember Me In Red (2010) is featured twice in Frameline34's lineup, first as part of the Transtastic! shorts program on Thursday, June 24, 2010 and then again on Sunday, June 26 preceding the Mexican documentary Tierra Madre (Mother Earth, 2009). Further, actress Mariana Marroquín—who plays the conflicted role of Fidelia in Remember Me In Red—will be one of the panel particpants for the free-to-the-public Frameline event "Says Who? Gender Variant Representation In Media."
As Cindy Emch has written for the festival catalog, Remember Me In Red honors the chosen family and community of Latino queers in this tale of "a closely-knit group of transwomen who band together to weather a tragedy." She synopsizes the film: "Emotions run high as Fidelia is arranging her best friend Alma's funeral, only to have Alma's parents arrive from Mexico and insist that their son be buried as male. Alma's friends pull together to honor both the parents' wishes and those of Alma herself."
In its commendable simplicity, Remember Me In Red reminded me of a comment made by B. Ruby Rich at her Frameline30 address on the "genderation gap" wherein she inferred that transgender narratives revolve around the revelation of an anatomical secret. It likewise struck me as the inverted equation of Joao Pedro Rodrigues' To Die Like A Man. The vested choice of that Portuguese film belies the compromise struck in Remember Me In Red where the corpse of Alma is first laid out dressed as a man for the memorial service attended by family, only to later be transformed by Alma's chosen community into her authentic visage: beautiful and dressed in red.
I am further reminded of a comment made by Fran Lebowitz in James Rasin's engaging documentary Beautiful Darling: The Life and Times of Candy Darling, Andy Warhol Superstar (2010)—Frameline's Centerpiece documentary—that, admittedly, agitated me. Considering Candy Darling, Lebowitz queried why any man would want to give up his "winning hand" to become a woman? Ceballos' Remember Me In Red may not answer that hypothetical but it certainly revolves around the discrimination faced by transwomen in their choice to both live and die as women.
Finally, I bear in mind a comment made by Jed Bell at the Riot Acts screening earlier this week wherein he celebrated transgender narratives that shifted away from victimization. With regard to that creative transition, Remember Me In Red articulates its way through discrimination and suggests the celebratory transgender narratives yet to come.
Cross-published at Twitch.