Drirector: Rigoberto Pérezcan
In the opening moments of the film, the early lives of Mabel and Daniela are recounted through a series of photographs, which exhibit their transition. Beyond this, it is strikingly understated how little attention is drawn to these characters' gender, or the community to which they belong. Just as the muxe are assimilated into their local culture, Carmin Tropical reflects this with no real explanation of what a muxe is until about halfway through the film. In essence, this film depicts a culture that is far more advanced in its evolution of trans* rights than us and is subsequently a refreshing snapshot of a rare LGBT idyll that few know exists. And for that alone, this film is a real treasure.
While there are clearly moments of high drama within this story, the camera shies away from these, depicting the stillness that comes in between. Just as the majority of life is about these lulls; about picking up the pieces and living on, this film captures the essence of ambivalence that something is only an issue if someone cares about it. Mabel wonders what will happen when she is not present to remember Daniela and in this non-descript corner of Mexico, it is clear that this moment of personal drama will be painted over and forgotten. As such, this is a film that muses on the virtue of normalcy. In another world, Mabel would have been remarkable for living as a third gender, but in her assimilation she will be forgotten... and so too will her tragedy. And all that will be left behind are the photographs, which play such an integral part of this film.