Kathy Huang / USA, Indonesia / 2011 / 60 min / Indonesian with English subtitles / color / digital


Audience Choice Award, 2011 Asian American International Film Festival (New York)

Home to the world’s largest Muslim population, Indonesia is also home to a community of transgender individuals known as “warias,” men who live openly as women. Filmmaker Kathy Huang first read about the warias in 2005 and couldn’t shake the curiosity off. She even took several language courses and traveled to Indonesia to learn firsthand about this little-known community which originally started before Islam came to South Sulawesi in the 17th century when warias were historically meant to serve the king.

Her latest film TALES OF THE WARIA follows four characters in present day Indonesia and weaves multi-layered stories about their search for romance and companionship. Often humorous and sometimes heartbreaking, the film reveals our universal capacity as human beings to search for love. And although the warias are able to live amongst the Muslim world, they are still often ostracized in their villages for dressing as women - and the dictates of Islam, which they abide by, do not allow them to undergo any sex-change operations.

With poignancy and sensitivity, Huang uncovers the beauty and complicated lives of her subjects. Each tale is unique and each waria equally fabulous. With a hauntingly beautiful score and rarely seen images of Indonesia, TALES OF THE WARIA is a moving piece of documentary work. – Mye Hoang

Director Kathy Huang will be in attendance.

Co-presented by: Indonesian Art Center, San Diego Gay and Lesbian News


  • Director: Kathy Huang
  • Producer: Kathy Huang
  • Cinematographer: Kathy Huang
  • Editor: Carla Gutierrez


October 23, 2011 3:30 pm
Mission Valley UltraStar Cinemas