Documentary tells story of trans Filipina killed by American marine in Olongapo
The story of trans Filipina woman Jennifer Laude and her brutal death at the hands of an American marine debuts on the PBS series POV tonight (July 1).
PJ Raval directed Call Her Ganda, which has won awards at Outfest, the Sidewalk Film Festival in Birmingham, Alabama, the Boston LGBT Film Festival and the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival, among others. Raval spent extensive time in the Philippines while making the film, interviewing Jennifer Laude's mother and others involved in a case that generated intense controversy in the Pacific island nation.
Laude was 26 years old when she met serviceman Joseph Scott Pemberton at a bar in Olongapo in October 2014. They went to a nearby hotel, where Pemberton allegedly assaulted Laude, shoving her head into a toilet (coroners ruled the victim died of asphyxiation caused by drowning). Pemberton was convicted of homicide, a lesser charge than murder under Philippines law. Laude allegedly did not disclose her trans identity to her assailant before he attacked her, which a judge considered mitigating circumstances.
The new season of POV started June 17 and will include such acclaimed documentaries as On Her Shoulders, Bisbee '17, The Distant Barking of Dogs and The Silence of Others.
Matthew Carey is a documentary filmmaker and journalist. His work has appeared on Deadline.com, CNN, CNN.com, TheWrap.com, NBCNews.com and in Documentary magazine.