The Harsh Reality of the Chuntas


Savannah Cadet Haynes

The poster at the San Diego Latino Film Festival was full of life and color

Savannah Cadet Haynes, Social Media Editor/ Staff Writer

The Harsh Reality of the Chuntas

In a small village in Mexico, men transform into women once a year to become the Chuntá. The documentary ‘Las Chuntá’ followed two gender gangs as they prepared for the biggest festival of the year. There was tension between both groups as they struggled with identity, spiritual traditions and social problems.

The film was presented at the annual Latino Film Festival, held at Fashion Valley Mall from March 14 through March 24, 2019. The movie competition took place inside AMC Movie Theatres, while many booths were set up outside passing out free merchandise. A large crowd was dancing to latino music in a sectioned off area of the parking lot. Food booths were surrounding the area as well, which attracted many people.

The film ‘Las Chuntá’ was directed by Genevieve Roudane, someone who strongly believes in representation which led her to directing a movie that sheds light on the experiences of the LGBQT community. Prior to the showing, Roudane made an appearance and introduced herself to the audience, expressing her gratitude and reasoning behind the film.

The Latino Film Festival was founded 26 years ago, but had no representation of the LGBQT community until 12 years after being founded. Once the founder allowed Cine Gay films, they were able to connect more with a bigger audience. This is how the film was chosen to be in the festival.

The documentary took place in a small community that celebrated gay men during the transition period of a new year called “dead days.” The celebration is called Fiesta Grande Chipa de Corzo and it attracted a majority of the town. Instruments such as drums were played throughout the streets while the men danced in colorful dresses. The men took pride in this event and believed it was tradition. They wore bright colored makeup and created braided headbands that looked like flower crowns.

The film captured some of the struggles that the LGBQT community faced, such as a lack of respect from people that didn’t understand their group. However, they still maintained a love for everyone around them. Many people accepted them and celebrated them regardless of their identity. The movie demonstrated themes of joy, love, and traditions, all of which the audience could connect to. The film was directed towards an older group, with a purpose to educate the audience about the harsh realities that the LGBQT community goes through on a daily basis. I found this documentary vital, due to the fact that these are current issues that happen everywhere around the globe. Equality and respect are things that should be given to people regardless of their race, gender and sexual preference.