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When Filipino trans woman Jennifer Laude was found dead in the bathroom of her hotel room in 2014, evidence overwhelmingly pointed to Private First Class Joseph Pemberton as her killer. However, as a visiting US marine stationed at a nearby naval base, Pemberton is protected by a Visiting Forces Agreement that subjects him to American rather than local law, triggering mass protests and calling into question the sovereignty of the Philippines itself.
Following Jennifer’s mother, the prosecuting attorney and an American journalist following the case, CALL HER GANDA tracks the case and its effects on the victim’s family and community as it unfolded on the ground. Winner of Best American Documentary Feature at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival and the Best Documentary Award at the Inside Out Toronto LGBT Film Festival, CALL HER GANDA is at once a beautiful portrait of a young life cut short and a stinging commentary on colonialism, sexism and transphobia that we are sadly yet to overcome.
A heartbreaking story of colonial injustice and a mother’s enduring commitment to her child, this is essential documentary viewing.