Indonesian Drag Queen Superhero Fights for Minorities in ‘Madame X’ [Video]
Outside of Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, it's really quite rare to see a superhero film in which any costumed crusader pursues an explicitly progressive agenda. The consensus amongst genre academics is that introducing realistic politics of any kind into a capes-and-tights stories inevitably leads to a discussion of fascism, as demonstrated by such works as Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns. But that convention is being challenged in a very big and very loud way by Madame X, a recently released Indonesian film that tells the story of a superpowered drag queen who fights to protect minorities by preventing the election of a militantly homophobic political party.
Not to be confused with the DC Comics character Madame Xanadu, Indonesia's Madame X is a flamboyant hairstylist called Adam with what one synopsis describes as "the power of makeup tools." Although I grew up in South East Asia and became quite adept at gleaning the plot specifics of non-English-speaking television from Malaysia and other nearby nations, I must confess that the crucial details of the Madame X elude me. From the trailer, it appears that Adam gains superpowers after being brutally attacked by some cowardly thugs in a utility truck. In any event, Adam's inspired to take action as a consequence of his assault, and invents the crime fighting identity of Madame X, who, it has to be said, rocks a pretty badass Black Cat-style costume.
The film stars
Amink as Adam/Madame X, and you can check out the trailer below.