OUTPUT MOVIE – How to live in the America of Donald Trump when one is an immigrant filipino shemale undocumented: a priori, the scenario of the Brooklyn Secret has everything to scare. But it is not necessary to rely on clichés, the film –which comes out this Wednesday the 1st of July on the screens French– is first and foremost a love story delicate work that avoids the commonplaces of political-melodramatic.
It is the third film of the director philippine Isabel Sandoval, 38 years old, settled in New York and herself a transgender. She interprets it-even the main character of this movie which it has provided the direction, the screenplay and the editing.
Brighton Beach, Brooklyn neighborhood
It is Olivia, who works as a home help from Olga, a Russian grandmother ashkenazi jewish Brighton Beach, Brooklyn neighborhood at the southern tip of the city of New York. The old lady no longer has all his head, and Olivia takes care of it with dedication and kindness.
Like other girlfriends immigrant, Olivia has paid an American to organize a white wedding, in order to get papers to stay in the United States. But at the last moment he retracts, and Olivia finds herself in the anguish of an immigrant without a residence permit.
It is at this time that she meets Alex (the australian actor Eamon Farren), grandson of Olga, employed by his uncle in a slaughterhouse and which is occupied by him as his grand-mother, in alternation with it. It is a boy rather kind and caring, and gradually drawn to each other is born between him and Olivia. It, always been obsessed by the history of its papers, will let go to finally live a real love story. But without wanting to immediately reveal her past to Alex…
“I think I wanted to show the price you pay for living the american dream. Having regard to the Philippines, flying to the United States is synonymous with success. A lot of families in the Philippines feed on the hope that their loved ones go earn a living in the United States. Brooklyn Secret depicts the flip side of this dream but, I hope, in a way melancholic, and tinged with hope,” explains the director.
Subtle and delicate
His film is subtle and delicate, it is above all a love story all in delicacy. It puts more emphasis on the aspect of immigrants without papers by the character, that personality who is transgender. And, even if it is marked with spots and radio and tv referring to the torments of immigrants in America today, this is not a film heavily militant or committed.
Yet the director, who says he has made this film after what she calls her “transition” from man to woman (after his first two films in 2011 and 2012 under the name of Vincent Sandoval), admits that “the fact of being an immigrant and a woman, trans weighed heavy in my existence at that moment, precisely, when Donald Trump became the president of the United States”.
Anxiety and worry
“So Brooklyn’s Secret is the result of my state of mind of the time. When I wrote, I felt anguish and concern. I felt vulnerable, compared to my situation in the United States. I’m not undocumented as my character. I have a Green Card with my first name and my sex, female,” she says. “On the other hand, I have a passport that matches my masculine identity before. When I go abroad and I return to the United States, I’m always afraid to undergo an examination when I pass the checks and be held in a room for hours and hours, which is not impossible given the current political climate”.
An end is well-controlled
Even if the main character looks like him, the filmmaker said that the film is not autobiographical. There is suspense, psychological, one wonders whether this goes well or end badly, the end drags a little in length. But it is told without excessive melodrama, simply, a love story like any other –or almost–, with one end being well controlled.