Strella: Shifting sexual identities
Brace yourself, filmgoers. MVFF will end with a film that pushes the limits of socio-sexual acceptability. But MVFF's venture into this disturbing territory is well worth it.
"Strella," by Greek director Panos Koutras, tells the story of a murderer who has just been released after serving 15 years in jail for killing his nephew. It seems clear that he has been sexually intimate with a younger cellmate, and on the outside he quickly finds himself pursuing a relationship with a "pre-op" transsexual named Strella, played by real-life transsexual Mina Orfanou.
That is only the beginning of a tale that unfolds with the dimensions of Greek tragedy. What keeps "Strella" from being just another excursion into soft porn is its high level of acting and filmmaking. The film's treatment of a world well beyond the limits of normal sexual behavior does not demonize its characters. It offers a welcome venture into a fascinating world, but not every filmgoer will be comfortable going there.