By Nonoy L. Lauzon

“The woman of actual wonder rises from the ranks of the third sex…”

Inching its way to the top of the box-office heap at the ongoing Metro Manila Film Festival, Jun Robles Lana’s Die Beautiful is poised to make history as the big-screen feature upholding gender advocacy.

If it gets to dominate the awards derby as well, it would be an unparalleled victory not only for the production and the festival but also for the LGBT community and the very cause that the landmark film espouses.
Paolo Ballesteros stands out in the lead role that fits him to a T. One would not entertain the thought of another actor who could best play the part. The transgender character he essays is richly sketched to easily gain the instant compassion of all audiences. His is the protagonist designed to proverbially smash the glass ceiling and prod people to realize that there is nothing right in an unjust society that oppresses and discriminates against gays.

On a higher plane, the film is an affirmation of art and creativity in the chaotic world. Human salvation and global equanimity may only be reached by a civilized community of nations that gives prime importance to artistic pursuit. True beauty is arrived by the sole way of art. What the world needs to be a better place to live is to have people engage more in the arts rather than endeavors of havoc and destruction.

The film is not merely for people who have been in the receiving end of violence on account of aberrant gender and sexual preference but more so, for the vast non-queer majority clueless and oblivious of the extent and reality of LGBT suffering.

At long last, here is a cinema of true tragicomedy proclaiming that the sex naturally imbued with grace, wisdom, power and wonder is not definitely the first nor even the second; but most deservedly, the third.

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