Year: 2001
UK: Soda Pictures
Cast: Ingrid de Souza, Cesare Bocci, Lulu Pecorari, Mauro Pirovano, Johnny Guim, Sonia Morgan, Alessandra Acciai
Director: Henrique Goldman
Countries: Spain / Italy / France / UK / Germany
Language: Portuguese (English subtitles)
UK: 96 mins
UK Certificate: 18 contains strong sex
UK Release Date: 1 October 2004


Princesa is the story of Fernanda, a Brazilian teenage transvestite, whose dream is to become a woman, find a husband and lead the life of a 'normal' house-wife. Fernanda goes to Milan and works as a prostitute to raise money for a sex-change operation. On the streets she is transformed into 'Princesa'a stylish and alluring figure who makes a lot of money and many friends among the prostitutes and clients.

One night Fernanda is picked up by Gianni, a conventional, handsome Italian man. He is obviously more than the usual client for Fernanda. The two establish a passionate relationship very quickly and a whirlwind romance ensues. Gianni leaves his wife and offers to pay for Fernanda's sex change operation. She turns away from her life on the streets and sets up home with Gianni.

As time passes Fernanda's ideal image of life as a housewife is tested. She feels isolated and unsure about the sex-change operation. She realises that she has never really fitted into Gianni's world comfortably and after much soul-searching decides to return to her friends on the streets.

Henrique Goldman, the co-writer and director of the film, was given a book called Princesa, while visiting a friend in Rome. The film that was eventually made six years later was very different but the input of the book's co-writer, the original Fernanda, remained central.