Bixa Travesty

“...radical self-expression to obliterate heteronormative constructs of gender”  


— The UP Coming

DATE: 15 Mar 2019

TIME: 7:00 pm 

LOCATION: New Farm Cinemas


Year  2018

Country  Brazil

Language  Portuguese with English subtitles

Director  Claudia Priscilla, Kiko Goifman

Genre  Documentary

Run Time  75min

Awards & Screenings

Frameline 2018, Winner Teddy Award for Best Documentary Berlinale 2018, Queer Screen Film Festival 2018

Source  Independent


As a black transgender from the poor peripheries of São Paulo, the pop character Linn da Quebrada raises her voice for the queers of colour from the favelas. With her boyhood friend and partner in crime, the black trans woman and singer Jup de Bairro, she performs in brilliant concerts. With exorbitant costumes and a lot of twerking she undertakes an electro-musical attack against the white heteronormative gender order of Brazil and the machismo of the local radio music scene.

Her affectionate side shows in private scenes - while showering with friends or cooking with her mother, she talks about love, racism and poverty. It is becoming increasingly clear that Linn uses radical nudity as a means to infiltrate gender roles. The documentary also shows them in staged radio interviews, in which she presents her convictions on feminism and her transsexuality with great voice: Linn does not want to be a cis-woman, but a woman with a penis whose gender identity is not bound to genitals but is constantly changing.


By Navin Jayasekera (aka Curry Potter)

I’m a full-time student at QUT studying a Bachelor of Communication, whilst working 5 part-time jobs, volunteering for various LGBTIQ+ organisations and also performing as drag queen under my stage name Curry Potter – I will be performing this March 15th at Honcho Disko.

Bixa Travesty is a documentary that acts as a portrait on the bold musician, broadcaster and performance artist – Linn da Quebrada. In her own words she is a 'tranny fag' – someone who is a “transvestite, feminine and also being gay – who is not a woman”, in my opinion both of the words are quite problematic in a general setting but when looking through a queer eye, one can obviously see that Linn is using these words to reclaim them from a pro machismo society that would use these to degrade her but she decides to repurpose them a proponents of self-love and self-empowerment.

“You have to have thick skin in order to prepare yourself for the judgment and ignorance of others – become a molotov f****t” – Linn da Quebrada.

One of the main themes of the film is self-love; Linn expresses the idea of self-love as a political statement; to truly be your self in a country like Brazil IS a political statement since the governments stance on LGBTIQ+ rights is abhorrent. Especially since living in a heteronormative society which “[has] a hard time believing a queer person can be beautiful since we don’t fall into their heteronormative sense of beauty”, a ‘tranny fag’ like Linn has no choice but to empower and love themselves enough to fight back or otherwise their society discard them as garbage.

Although the film does not go into great detail of Linn’s past it is implied that it was not an easy road – but in relation to becoming “a molotov f****t” when Linn says that it more means becoming a fiery, rebellious, and a unapologetically LGBTIQ+ person that is ready to blow up and destroy the social system that protects pro-machismo behaviour. Linn goes on almost preaching to the invisible audience about “get[ing] f**gier – the alpha male has nowhere to run now from the f****ts it’s them who should run not us…”. It is a sentiment that greatly reminded me of the legendary Sylvia Rivera, who at the Liberation Rally in 1973 said, “…you all tell me to go! And hide my tail between my legs, I will no longer put up with this sh*t…”. Two trans* icons, who both refuse to back down and let their community suffer.

Love is another major theme of the documentary – Linn talks about how she is over having anonymous sex that lacks any real affection. She is not interested in these discreet males who say their straight and talk about their big... – these men pride themselves on being macho men who hook up with effeminate people since these men believe femininity is linked to weakness yet it is those macho men who hide behind their big cocks as they are scared at thought of desiring to be with someone who can blur the lines of societal construct of gender. Hence, Linn would rather hook up with people who are not afraid to express themselves – especially effeminate people.

Her love for her friends and family is quite evident as well throughout the documentary, she is often seen with her good friend and frequent collaborator Jup du Bairro. Who not only adds another viewpoint to the film but also an insight into Linn da Quebrada that others do not see – which even Linn sometimes cannot even see. Even when Linn is dealing with cancer her interactions with friends and mother are quite momentous to the viewer. Even when is truly utterly sick – Linn manages to light up thee room with her magnetic charisma.

Thus, Bixa Travesty is a must see film! I have gained a worldly experience, I almost feel like I have lived in Linn da Quebrada’s shoes by watching this documentary. From her electric live performances, her interactions with friends and her mother and her conversations on love, self-love and self-empowerment. I am extremely happy that the Brisbane Queer Film Festival will be showing it this year – do yourself a favour and go and watch it.



5 - 15 MARCH 2020

© 2020 Brisbane Queer Film Festival

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