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Fame Comes w/ Consequences For Transgender TV Star In ‘Without Artificial Tits There Is No Salvation’

Fame Comes w/ Consequences For Transgender TV Star In 'Without Artificial Tits There Is No Salvation'

Two posts below this one, I highlighted German-Colombian filmmaker Simon Jaikiriuma Paetau’s award-winning short film Oury Jalloh. Within that item, I mentioned that I discovered the short film as I was looking over past lists of feature film projects selected for the Locarno Open Doors initiative, which we’ve highlighted on this site.

And one of the titles that immediately caught my attention was a feature titled Without Artificial Tits There Is No Salvation. A Google search on the film didn’t turn up much initially, but it did lead me to more info about the filmmaker, Simon Jaikiriuma Paetau – the son of a German father and a Colombian mother, who has attracted lots of acclaim for his past short film work (including the short I featured earlier today Oury Jalloh – which tells the true story of a Sierra Leonean refugee who died in a fire in a police cell in Dessau, Germany, with his hands and feet chained to a bed in the cell).
Not long after I published the post on Oury Jallo, I received an email with details on Without Artificial Tits There Is No Salvation, filling in blanks for me.
In short, Without Artificial Tits There Is No Salvation is a scripted feature film that follows Elsa, a transgender from
Bogota, who, after landing a role in a TV show,
her mundane life takes a turning
point. 
Impressed by her daring
personality, the producer offers her
the role of the protagonist in the late
night telenovela: “Without Artificial Tits
There Is No Salvation”. Despite her
family’s will, Elsa takes the role, portraying a transsexual
prostitute trapped in a world of sex
and violence who becomes a starlet
over night. But her fame comes with a consequence: Elsa gradually starts to become the fictional character
she portrays, living a similar kind of dangerous life.

According to the filmmaker, his own experiences in Bogota, Berlin
and Havana encouraged him to write
Without Artificial Tits There Is
No Salvation
, calling it a highly personal film
addressing several gender-related
issues. 

Elsa is not outcast by society,
she is “integrated” at the price of
losing the ownership over her own
image. Elsa knows that she is being
used for a commercialized progressive
and innovative “look” of a cheap
TV series, and finds herself caught
in between fighting for visibility in
the media and realizing how this same
visibility stigmatizes herself and
others.
Can Elsa undermine the expectation
of others? Can she subverse viewing
habits of society through a pop telenovela
or is she just an individual grieving
for personal satisfaction?

Without Artificial Tits There Is No Salvation was a 2013 Résidence du Festival selection at the Cannes Film Festival – an annual initiative that supports twelve young directors as they prepare to make their first or second feature films.
The filmmakers are selected on the basis
of their short films, or even first
feature film, and the merits of
their feature film project entry.
During their 4-and-a-half-month
stay in Paris, they work on the
writing of their feature film project,
have meetings with professionals
and try, with the support
of the Cannes Film Festival, to
bring their project to co-production
status.

So clearly, Paetau’s project is off to an auspicious start! Whether or not the released film will keep its current title, I can’t say. Only the filmmaker knows. He does say it’s a working title; meaning, it could very well change. But I can’t deny that it’s certainly an attention-getter. After all, I likely wouldn’t have bothered to research it in the first place if it had some other bland, generic title.

The film has yet to be completed, so there’s obviously no trailer for it at this time. But I did receive a press package for the project, which is where the above image comes from. 

However, in the meantime, if you haven’t watched it, check out Paetau’s award-winning short film Oury Jalloh below:

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