QUEEN OF LAPA

The woman is Luana Muniz, a well-known trans-rights activist as well as a proud trans-sex worker. Luana resides in Lapa, a dangerous neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro, especially for trans women. There she owns a hostel which doubles as a safe haven for young trans women of color who are also sex workers. The hostel provides not only a safe work environment for these women; it also comes with Luana’s wisdom from her own experiences in sex work a career that started at the age of 11. In these walls we are given access to these women’s day-to-day lives. We hear them laugh and squabble with each other. We are also given the privilege to listen as they speak uninterrupted about their dreams for the future as well as recount intimate and often traumatic stories that may be hard to hear, but for them are simply a part of life they must try to navigate. This documentary gives Luana and these young women full control of the stories they tell, and gives us the chance to hear the stories of those who are often not given the opportunity they deserve.

– James Long