Caer (Caught) is a collaboration between director Nicola Mai and the TRANSgrediendio Intercultural Collective, a grassroots association defending the rights of trans Latina migrant women in Queens, New York.
The film follows the fictional lives of Rosa and Paloma, two trans Latina sex workers as they fight back against transphobic violence and constant surveillance by immigration and law enforcement in an increasingly xenophobic political environment. The film is framed by scenes from a feedback screening for the members of TRANSgrediendo Intercultural Collective to provide their perspectives before its final editing. These glimpses into the film’s process allow us to deepen our understanding of Rosa and Paloma’s stories. As the women who informed their creation see their lives play out on the screen, they dialogue and debate on the complexities and differences between sex work and trafficking, the lack of occupational alternatives to sex work, and the longing for love, safety and desire.
This wholly unique film is a breathtaking ride, with the transitions between fiction and nonfiction feeling paradoxically seamless and abrupt, reminding the audience that everything happening on screen is also happening in real life. The performances by the lead actors (all non-professional performers who are members of the Collective) are not just convincing, they are completely embodied.
Content Advisory: Depictions of transphobia, police violence, discussions of sexual and physical assault
Don’t miss the pre-recorded Q&A with director Nicola Mai and Liaam, executive director of the TRANSgrediendo Intercultural Collective, right after the film.