Sunday, February 7th, 2021

Im Moshanty: Do You Love Me?


Queer filmmaker Tim Wolff’s delightful documentary of the larger-than-life singer/activist Moshanty is quite the wee gem. It is not only an affectionate  tribute to one of Papua New Guinea’s most famous citizens, but an insightful glimpse into how she is treated as a transgender in this fiercely conservative Christian country.

Before we even meet Moshanty, (Moses Moshanty Tau) Wolff points out “Trans women are the most likely to be denied education or employment and living under the greatest possible threat of robbery, rape and murder,.”  It is a disturbing fact which sadly is repeated throughout the world ….. especially in so-called more evolved cultures like the US.

However Moshanty uses her position as a music superstar to be a fierce advocate for not only herself but the local trans community.  She is one of the lucky ones in the respect that her adoptive parents, both Pastors, believed  “The scriptures say “do not judge” and they totally support her. 

And we also learn “There is one transgender woman who is beloved by nearly all of the eight million plus residents of Papua New Guinea, Moses Moshanty Tau” .

One of the charming things about Moshanty as she talks straight into Wolfes camera, is that she is not shy in telling you how very famous she is.  Modesty is not a trait she possess.  But to be fair she is equally vocal about her love of her ‘logical family’ who are all somewhere on the LGBTQ spectrum, and who really depend on her leadership.

Wolff makes sure we don’t get totally swept away by Moshanty and what seems her somewhat cosy set up, and so he includes a You Tube video  taken of a transgender women being robbed and beaten in the street in full daylight.

On another occasion Moshanty takes her small clique of ‘girls’ for a ride to another slightly  more remote village called Hula.  Most of the residents here are transgender and enjoy a freedom that most think is still decades away for the  LGBTQ community in the rest of Papua New Guinea. 

Then just as Wolff has ensured that we have really been won over by this very generous and remarkable women, he breaks the bad news to us. Moshanty was diagnosed with lung cancer which led to her inability to sing, but that didn’t stop her from raising money to help people with illnesses. However very sadly Moshanty died on her 50th birthday from cardiac arrest on the eve of her next operation.

At the equivalent of a State Funeral people ……from high ranking officials to her close transgender friends …..lined up to pay tribute, and  we still any doubts then, they were now dispelled .  She was the most famous person of note in her country. 

Acceptance of the transgender community around the globe is always boosted by visibility.  In that respect, Moshanty would be happy to know  even after death she was still making a contribution.

P.s. The movie is streamng on Amazon Prime and ITunes

Posted by queerguru  at  17:48



Genres:  documentary, international, trans

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