Cassandro, the Exotico!

Berlin: April 4, 2019 @ ACUDkino 21h
Mainz: June 8, 2019 @ Kunsthalle Mainz 19h

In the gaudy, flamboyant world of Lucha Libre, Cassandro is its most eccentric star. He is the king of the Exóticos, the gender-bending cross-dressing wrestlers who fight prejudice as much as their opponents in this macho-dominated sport. Despite his lacquered hair, his mascara and his perfectly curled eyelashes, Cassandro is a combat beast, a many-times World Champion, who pushes his body to its most extreme limits. It’s rare not to see him at the end of a fight with his face covered in blood, a dislocated elbow or a broken knee! However, after twenty-six years of spins, dives and headbutts in the ring, Cassandro’s body is in pieces and his confidence faltering, as he feels the grip of a particular traumatic past. But he just can’t stay away too long from the spotlights…

Cassandro is an odd and colourful portrait of a wild and charismatic character and a thought-out documentary which shows the adventures of a gay Mexican wrestler. The photographer Diane Arbus said: “There’s a quality of legend about freaks. Like a person in a fairy tale who stops you and demands that you answer a riddle. Most people go through life dreading they’ll have a traumatic experience. Freaks were born with their trauma. They’ve already passed their test in life. They’re aristocrats.” Cassandro is without a doubt an Arbus aristocrat; a freak who is a “queer lucha libre fighter legend.” The documentary director, Marie Losier offers the viewer a vision to the character like the Arbus freak imaginary: full of admiration, empathy and indubitable tenderness. Cassandro the Exotic is a tribute to all these people who dare to live their own fairy tale in an extraordinary and unique way.

Daniel Sanchez Lopez

About the Director

After training as an acrobat (trapezes, beams, parallel bars…) in her youth, then as a contemporary dancer and a tap dancer, Marie Losier studied literature at the Nanterre University and painting at the School of Fine Arts in New York. She directed several avant-garde portraits of filmmakers, musicians and composers, such as Alan Vega, Jonas Mekas and Genesis P-Orridge. These innovative and intimate first films were made during her spare time, in the weekends, and with no funding. But it was her first feature film, The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye, that showcased her work to a more general audience. After screening in more than 200 festivals around the world, the film was released in 2011 in France, the United States, Canada, Germany and Mexico. It has also won several awards. Today, her films are regularly programmed in the most prestigious film festivals (Berlin, Rotterdam, Tribeca, CPH:DOX, Bafici, Cinéma du Réel, Hors Pistes, etc.) and museums around the world, such as Tate Modern (London), MOMA (NYC), Centre Pompidou (Paris), or the French Cinémathèque and the Whitney Biennal (NYC). The first complete retrospective of her films took place at the MoMA (NYC), in November 2018.

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