To Die Like a Man
Portuguese filmmaker João Pedro Rodrigues directed and co-wrote this offbeat story of love and death. Tonia (Fernando Santos) is a drag queen and lip-sync artist who has won a loyal following at the club where she performs, but as she grows older, she's begun to worry if she's losing her touch, especially with the rising popularity of her rival Jenny (Jenny Larrue). Tonia shares a flat with her boyfriend, Rosario (Alexander David), who loves her but sometimes urges her to get a sex change; Tonia may live her life as a woman, but her Catholic faith makes it difficult for her to change her body to match. More troubling to Tonia are Rosario's struggles with heroin addiction, as he alternates drug binges with weeks of being clean and sober. Years before she began living as a woman, Tonia was involved with a woman and fathered her child, and one day the son she hasn't seen in years arrives at her doorstep with shocking news -- he's deserted his post in the army and is on the run from the law after killing a man. Morrer Como um Homem (aka To Die Like a Man) was an official selection at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival, where it was screened as part of the "Un Certain Regard" program.