Documentary, 2016
Current Affairs, Human Rights, LGBT

Documentary, Netherlands, Germany 2016
Runtime: 88 min. / 54 min.
Director: Daniel Abma
Production: Witfilm, Kloos & Co. Medien GmbH


Once a year, two plastic surgeons from Holland and Belgium fly to Havana to perform surgery on five Cuban transgender
persons. The surgeons are invited by Mariela Castro, daughter of the president and head of the new state program for transgender
care. Castro organizes this as a modern completion of the socialist revolution of 1959 because, in her words, it is all about emancipation and self-realization. ‚Homophobia no, socialismo si!‘ is the official slogan. The state helps transgender people with therapy, hormones, surgery and a new identity.

Is Cuba changing into a safe haven for trans people? For more than one year, filmmakers Daniel Abma and Alex Bakker follow
the three main characters Odette, Juani and Malú and show how they deal with the reality of being transgender in Cuba. As new heroes of the revolution they still face religious intolerance, discrimination, sexism, poverty and often a life in prostitution. Meanwhile they wait for the foreign surgeons to give them what they want most in life. Are their names among the five on this year‘s surgery list?

The documentary features the historic day when presidents Castro and Obama suddenly announce new diplomatic relations, creating great expectations among the main characters. ‘TRANSIT HAVANA – New Heroes of the Cuban Revolution’ gives us a unique insight into the paradoxes of Cuba, showing a surprising side of an island in transition.


2016: Movies That Matter, Roze Filmdagen, Dok.Fest Munich, Karlovy Vary IFF, East End Film Festival, Bergen IFF, MIX CPH, Antenna, Filmkunsttage Sachsenanhalt, Cinedoc Tbilisi, Asterisco, Queersicht, Cottbus IFF, Verzio, Slovak Queer Festival, Pantalla Latina St. Gallen, El Lugar Sin Limites, Cork FF, Montreal LGBT Image+Nation, This Human World, In-Doc Indonesia, La Havanna
2017: Berlin & Beyond San Francisco, Human Fest IFF Valencia, Zinegoak, One World Prague, Act Human Rights FF, One World Brussels, Millennium Docs Against Gravity, World Village FF Helsinki, TLV Fest, Framline SF, Ciclo de Cine, Sziget Festival, Baltic Sea Docs, Vilnius Queer FF, Lisboa Queer FF, Fargo Moorhead LGBT FF, Saratovs Sufferings FF

Best Doc – Roze Filmdagen, Best Doc – MIX CPH, Filmkunsttage Sachsenanhalt – Best Feature Length, Cinedoc Tbilisi – Audience Award, Verzio – Best Doc, Montreal LGBT – Image+Nation – Audience Award