Daniela is murdered before Carmin Tropical begins, yet her absence can be felt throughout. As her friend Mabel (José Pecina) fingers through old photographs in silent scenes we see traces of a life cut short.
While tracking down her friend’s killer, Mabel’s internal monologue delivers much of the story. This creates an intimacy between her and the audience. Her reminiscing gives the film an air of melancholy wistfulness; a tone which sets up a pleasingly subversive resolution.
Unfortunately the supporting cast has little to do – yet this allows Pecina’s mesmerising turn to take centre stage and shape the film.
Carmin Tropical is a tender look at the friendship between two trans women. Although a tad slight, the internal complexities of Mabel’s character make it a thoroughly rewarding watch.
CAST: José Pecina, Luis Alberta, Everardo Trejo, Juan Carlos Medellin
DIRECTOR: Rigoberto Pérezcano
WRITER: Rigoberto Pérezcano
SYNOPSIS: Mabel returns to her home town in Southern Mexico to solve the mystery of her best friend Daniela’s murder. While there, she reacquaints herself with the local muxe (trans) nightclub scene that she and Daniela were a part of.