Copa 181

Directed by Dannon Lacerda

Cast: Andre Luiz de Faria Rocha, Carlos Takeshi, Otto Jr., Silvero Pereira, Simone Mazzer

A gay sauna, not unlike the legendary Continental Baths, is the meeting place for a ragtag group of strangers looking for anonymous sex and perhaps a friendly smile in this supremely human dramedy. On any given day at Copa 181, tucked in a corner of the Copacabana neighborhood in Rio, expect to find Tana, a hardware shopkeeper and occasionally his wife Eros, an opera singer who finds acceptance for her incredible gift at the bathhouse. Joining them are a host of men ready to pay for the muscle bound escorts. These include Leo who is happy with his trans girlfriend Kika only within the confines of the sauna. Kika, a housecleaner by day, entertains nightly from the tiny stage and dreams of an elusive stardom that is just out of reach. Everyone at Copa 181 falls under the joint spell of the sex and escape from mundane reality the bathhouse offers and audiences, too, will fall under the seductive spell of this insightful film that underscores the message that family is where you find it.

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