02 October 2009

NYFF09 Review: To Die Like a Man

To Die Like a Man by João Pedro Rodrigues

João Pedro Rodrigues’s To Die Like a Man is centered on the almost unbearably tragic life of Tonia, a drag queen whose fantasy of being a lady and a star is constantly interrupted by the ugly realities of a drug-abusing boyfriend (Rosário), spiteful AWOL son (Zé Maria), and deteriorating body. Containing multiple contradictions that violently clash against each other (man and woman; Catholic and hedonist; mother and father), Tonia seeks to keep balance in a life that is constantly threatening to topple over. What ensues is a tragic, often beautiful melodrama full of visual style and honest emotion that questions what it means to live and die genuinely.

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