Film Review: MASQUERADING: TO HELL AND BACK, South Africa, LGBT/Documentary

This bright film, equal parts charming and heart breaking, follows two well known South African Drag Queens. Growing up in the South Africa during Apartheid, when “cross dressing” was punishable by imprisonment, Samantha Fox and Sandra Dee faced intolerable conditions, horrendous persecution and heartbreaking treatment for living their lives in adherence to the way they felt they needed to.


Framed beautifully by letters being written to each other, the two recount their lives, their trails and hurdles- through poverty, homelessness, severe abuse and trauma, all to come through it on the other end, bigger, brighter and more beautiful.


Samantha Fox and Sandra Dee are now iconic in their communities, and known their strength and for their generous spirits. We follow them through an LGTB drag pageant show where performers battle for the title of Miss District 6 and Miss Gay Legend , where they are assisting in crowning the winners.

What is truly inspirational about this film, despite it’s excellent music and beautiful photography, is the exceptional performances of Samantha Fox and Sandra Dee. With unfailing grace, elegance and beauty, with unmatched charm and wit, they tell their stories, their histories and their journeys with compassion, composure and admirable positivity. They embody an inner strength that can only be found when one has tested the limited of all strength can endure. They are role models for women everywhere, for it is clear that they have risen above adversity to shine brighter in the face of it.


A touching film and a joy to watch. Heart wrenching, engaging and beautiful, many glasses are raised to these two beautiful ladies, and a bravo to director Sofia De Fay.

by Kierston Drier

WATCH the Audience FEEDBACK Video: 

MASQUERADING: TO HELL AND BACK, 13min., South Africa, LGBT/Documentary
Directed by Sofia De FayTwo hilarious and eccentric old drag queens living in Cape Town, South Africa remember their lives and how they survived years of brutal and terrifying discrimination. The fifty year old drag queens remember the apartheid years, where up till 1994 in South Africa it was illegal to “masquerade” as the opposite sex.

CLICK HERE – and see full info and more pics of the film!


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