Cast｜John Alexander Mora, Iván Piñacué
Production Company｜Planeador Films
Muete travels to the city to visit his cousin Karina, a transgender woman that does sex work. Muete tries to convince her to return to their town because her mother is very ill. The only condition: Karina has to dress as a boy, as her mother would never accept her child’s new identity.
A graduate of the National University of Colombia Film School with a master degree in scriptwriting. Teacher of filmmaking at El Externado University in Colombia. Founder and director of Planeador Films, producing several award-winning short films since 2010.
“El Pantera” (Feature- documentary) in post-production
“Karina’s suit” (Short) 2021
“Fugitives” (Short) 2018
“Muñeca” (Short) 2012
“I’m scared” (Short) 2012
“Minuto 200” (Short). 2011
Karina’s suit arose from a meeting between John Mora, co-writer and actor, and the woman who inspired this story. During the brief time that their friendship lasted, she, a person originally from the province and discriminated by her social context, found a space of freedom to reveal some of her experiences without being judged. As casual as their meeting was, so was their farewell; Karina returned to her village, and some time after, John lost all contact with her.
With the idea of turning one of Karina’s stories into a short fiction film, a dilemma also arose: could a character, in this case, a transgender character, be performed by an actor/actress who is not transgender? Multiple discussions have taken place around this, and voices are raised that firmly believe that the role of a trans, man or woman, cannot be performed by cisgender people; that a man performing a trans woman, would only reinforce the narrative that the woman is actually a man. It’s a valid argument, especially thinking about the struggle of trans people to be recognized as their own in their bodies.
But for me, the most valid argument has to do with the issue of representation, or rather, with fiction, since I believe that it should not have restrictions. Representation in fiction should be judged not as an approach to a reality, but as representation itself, in aesthetic, artistic, etc. terms. It is about to defend the possibility of people who have acting as a profession, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation, to perform the role they want in fiction. Whether they do it badly or well within the represented universe, that is another discussion.
From the beginning, John applied for the leading role because of the closeness he had had with Karina, also because he was the initial writer of the script, and obviously because of his profession. His preparation consisted not only in getting to know Karina’s world, but also in seeking advice from other trans women from the same community; women who never felt disrespected and who, on the contrary, showed their support; one of them, Valeria García, even agreed to appear in the film.
Karina’s character goes beyond her appearance, she is someone with ambiguities and contradictions, with a strength that lies more in her inner self than in her violent and unstable surface. She sometimes doubts, but proves herself as her weaknesses appear. Her conscious objective, fighting and surviving, is mixed with the unconscious one of returning, and that return also has to do with talking to her mother again, whom she loves and hates, reconciling with her, making her understand that she is Karina, and that she is still her daughter. Karina’s suit is a story apparently about a return with a tone of defeat, but it is only Karina’s change and the preparation to make clear, once and for all, who she is.