Introduction and post-film Q&A by Cassandro

Lucha libre star Cassandro is famous as much for his flamboyant drag and sky-high pompadour as for his show-stopping acrobatics. His trailblazing ascent as one of the industry’s first openly gay wrestlers has resonated internationally for a quarter century. A prize-winning fighter who reinvented a staunchly macho sport, Cassandro exudes resilience of all kinds—from the physical power to level his opponents, to an ability to revisit past trauma and cope with the scars of a body pushed to its limits. French-born filmmaker Marie Losier (The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye), who lives and works in New York, received the Guggenheim Award to make Cassandro, the Exotico!

• Watch an interview with the filmmaker.

• Read the New York Times review of the film.

• Read the New Yorker's review of the film.

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About the Speaker
World-renowned wrestler Cassandro got his start on the U.S./Mexico border. Born in El Paso in 1970, he began lucha libre training at age 15 in Juárez and became a professional wrestler in 1987, working under a mask as Mister Romano. He was soon encouraged to take on a new persona as an exótico—a male wrestler portraying a gay caricature. Although most exóticos are straight, Cassandro is gay. His first match as an exótico was unmasked, under the name Rosa Salvaje. In 1988, he was christened Cassandro.

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Marie Losier
English and Spanish with English subtitles
Running Time
73 minutes
Digital , Color