Professional wrestling has always had a homoerotic subtext, and in Mexico (where the “sport” is known as “lucha libre”), it’s been right on the surface thanks to exóticos: wrestlers in drag who serve as the queer-signaling foils for heroic straight wrestlers. Known for their flamboyance and glamor, exóticos are the bold antithesis of their macho adversaries.
Led by a phenomenal performance by Gael García Bernal, Cassandro is the wild and entertaining story of one such individual, and the trailblazing path he paved by refusing to hide who he was—or to accept his second-class status both in and out of the ring.
The fictional feature debut of Roger Ross Williams, the first Black filmmaker to nab an Academy Award (for 2010’s documentary short Music by Prudence), Cassandro is a showcase for its headliner, whose turn as the real-life title character—whose actual name is Saúl Armendáriz—is a tour-de-force of open, vibrant, defiant expressiveness.
Source: The Daily Beast
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