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A Mermaid Called Aida

dir. RiyadVinci Wadia 1996 India 52 min.

A Mermaid Called Aida is a fascinating documentary that reveals the enigmatic real life story of India's most famous transsexual, the fabulous Aida Banaji. Director Wadia explores the politics of gender and in so doing boldly challenges perceptions of race, culture and social morality.

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A documentary about the irrepressible Aida Banaji, Bombay's most famous transsexual. Beautiful, bold and sassy, Aida dazzled and delighted the Bombay club scene during the 1980's. She talks candidly about her childhood, teens, first sexual experiences, and her ultimate decision to, and the physical process of, having a male to female sex change. Now 38, Aida is about to enter into a new stage in her life. With bubbly excitement, and with some trepidation, she tells of her imminent marriage to Steven, a computer analyst from England. Combining interviews with friends, 'experts', and Aida's fixating personality, this is an intimate portrait of a fascinating character in the context of contemporary Indian social and family life.