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Kokomo City 18

D. Smith, USA, 2023, 93m.

Kokomo City was one of the sensations at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Directed by two-time Grammy nominee D. Smith and shot in striking black and white, Kokomo City is a raw, taboo-breaking depiction of the lives of four black trans sex workers in America, as they confront the dichotomy between the black community and themselves.

The Garden Cinema View:

Kokomo City is an authentic representation of Black transgender sex work through the testimonies of four sex workers. There’s nothing polished or comfortable in this irreverent piece of work – just the undiluted truth served with style and wit.

The documentary exposes the contradictions within the black community, which struggles to assimilate its LGBTQIA+ members. The film's most poignant moment sees Dominique addressing historical oppression faced by the black community as one of the underlying causes.

Underneath its rough exterior, Kokomo City has a big heart. When these women's vulnerability surfaces towards the end of the film, we are left emotionally shaken. With a choppy editing style, the format of the piece matches the content – this is a confrontational and fun piece of work.

Daniella Carter, Koko Da Doll, Liyah Mitchell, Dominique Silver

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