FANTASIA REVIEW: Tangerine, Sundance hit was one of first to sell out

It’s Christmas Eve in the neighbourhood of Tinseltown in Los Angeles. Sin-Dee (Kitana Kiki Rodriguez) was released from prison after a 28-day stay. She celebrates her release with her best friend Alexandra (Mya Taylor) at Donut Time; they share a doughnut. Alexandra accidentally tells Sin-Dee that her boyfriend Chester (James Ransone) cheated on her during her absence. An angry Sin-Dee runs around the city to find a girl whose name starts with a “D.”

Tangerine’s plotline, furious girlfriend wants revenge on the girl who slept with her boyfriend, seems typical and boring. Except there are a few differences. The first is that both Sin-Dee and Alexandra are transgender women. The second is that they are sex workers and Chester is their pimp. Sin-Dee is enraged that “D” is a “real fish,” as Alexandra describes her, to say she has no male genitalia.

The film is full of clichés but you cannot help but laugh at Sin-Dee who drags Dinah (Mickey O’Hagan) around the city to confront Chester. Through the story, where violence is portrayed in the world of sex workers and their surroundings, lies a friendship between two black transgender women who have each other’s back even when things get ugly. And they do quickly.

On the sidelines, Razmik (Karren Karagulian), is an Armenian taxi driver with a particular fetish at the instar of his family.

This indie film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival 2015 and is already highly acclaimed. Directed by Sean Baker and co-written with Chris Bergoch, the movie was entirely shot with iPhones, which certainly wouldn’t be expected considering the breathtaking scenes.

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