Fame Comes w/ Consequences For Transgender TV Star In 'Without Artificial Tits There Is No Salvation'
Photo Credit: S & A
News

Fame Comes w/ Consequences For Transgender TV Star In 'Without Artificial Tits There Is No Salvation'

nullTwo posts below this one, I highlighted German-Colombian filmmaker Simon Jaikiriuma Paetau’s award-winning short film Oury Jalloh. Within that item, I mentioned that I discovered the short film as I was looking over past lists of feature film projects selected for the Locarno Open Doors initiative, which we’ve highlighted on this site.

And one of the titles that immediately caught my attention was a feature titled Without Artificial Tits There Is No Salvation. A Google search on the film didn’t turn up much initially, but it did lead me to more info about the filmmaker, Simon Jaikiriuma Paetau – the son of a German father and a Colombian mother, who has attracted lots of acclaim for his past short film work (including the short I featured earlier today Oury Jalloh – which tells the true story of a Sierra Leonean refugee who died in a fire in a police cell in Dessau, Germany, with his hands and feet chained to a bed in the cell).

Not long after I published the post on Oury Jallo, I received an email with details on Without Artificial Tits There Is No Salvation, filling in blanks for me.

In short, Without Artificial Tits There Is No Salvation is a scripted feature film that follows Elsa, a transgender from

Bogota, who, after landing a role in a TV show,

her mundane life takes a turning

point. 

Impressed by her daring

personality, the producer offers her

the role of the protagonist in the late

night telenovela: “Without Artificial Tits

There Is No Salvation”. Despite her

family’s will, Elsa takes the role, portraying a transsexual

prostitute trapped in a world of sex

and violence who becomes a starlet

over night. But her fame comes with a consequence: Elsa gradually starts to become the fictional character

she portrays, living a similar kind of dangerous life.

According to the filmmaker, his own experiences in Bogota, Berlin

and Havana encouraged him to write

Without Artificial Tits There Is

No Salvation, calling it a highly personal film

addressing several gender-related

issues. 

Elsa is not outcast by society,

she is “integrated” at the price of

losing the ownership over her own

image. Elsa knows that she is being

used for a commercialized progressive

and innovative “look” of a cheap

TV series, and finds herself caught

in between fighting for visibility in

the media and realizing how this same

visibility stigmatizes herself and

others.

Can Elsa undermine the expectation

of others? Can she subverse viewing

habits of society through a pop telenovela

or is she just an individual grieving

for personal satisfaction?

Without Artificial Tits There Is No Salvation was a 2013 Résidence du Festival selection at the Cannes Film Festival – an annual initiative that supports twelve young directors as they prepare to make their first or second feature films.

The filmmakers are selected on the basis

of their short films, or even first

feature film, and the merits of

their feature film project entry.

During their 4-and-a-half-month

stay in Paris, they work on the

writing of their feature film project,

have meetings with professionals

and try, with the support

of the Cannes Film Festival, to

bring their project to co-production

status.

So clearly, Paetau’s project is off to an auspicious start! Whether or not the released film will keep its current title, I can’t say. Only the filmmaker knows. He does say it’s a working title; meaning, it could very well change. But I can’t deny that it’s certainly an attention-getter. After all, I likely wouldn’t have bothered to research it in the first place if it had some other bland, generic title.

The film has yet to be completed, so there’s obviously no trailer for it at this time. But I did receive a press package for the project, which is where the above image comes from. 

However, in the meantime, if you haven’t watched it, check out Paetau’s award-winning short film Oury Jalloh below:

Shadow and Act is a website dedicated to cinema, television and web content of Africa and its global Diaspora. With daily news, interviews, in-depth investigations into the audiovisual industry, and more, Shadow and Act promotes content created by and about people of African descent throughout the world.

© 2022 Shadow & Act. All rights reserved.