Spandex Sapiens

Oskari Pastila

Spandex Sapiens

2015, Finland
87 min • Finnish. English subtitles.
Theme: Roleplay
19.11.2016 | Time: 17.00 | Venue: Tapio 4

The world's last Neanderthal wears spandex

The acclaimed Spandex Sapiens is a documentary about pro wrestling, still a marginal sport in Finland. The story centres around the barbaric and conservative alpha male Michael *StarBuck* Majalahti to whom wrestling is his entire life. His toughest opponent in the ring is the promising trans wrestler Jessica Love, who shakes openly homophobic Majalahti's values to the core. The two wrestlers are true polar opposites - both in and outside the ring.

The primitive Majalahti pictures ideal masculinity as white cis-men following in the footsteps of Hulk Hogan and Rambo, eating raw steak with one hand and punching tolerance in the face with the other. In contrast, Jessica Love is the only trans wrestler in Europe - simultaneously sweet, cute and a serious adversary. Majalahti struggles when his opponent receives praise everywhere, while he seems to be taking steps backwards in all areas of life.

Thematically the documentary flirts with traditional gender roles but isn't afraid to let Majalahti have his say. Visually the film is pure eye-candy and celebrates the beloved hybrid between sport and violent entertainment. For both its exceptional story and execution, Spandex Sapiens is definitely a must-see on the big screen.