Lucha Libre’s First Queer Star: More than a “Shining Superhero”

By Ena Alvarado

Saúl Armendáriz’s 1990s breakout was dazzling. But a new biopic substitutes Hollywood glitter for real-life complexity and depth.

This article is adapted from AQ's special report on Latin America’s election super-cycle For most of its history, Mexican lucha libre has been the domain of brazen machismo. A new biopic, directed by Oscar-winning documentarian Roger Ross Williams and starring Gael García Bernal, revises this narrative. Cassandro tells the life of Chicano and gay wrestler Saúl Armendáriz, a now-beloved icon of the ring who earned success by defying prejudice and convention. At the start of the film, Armendáriz wrestles as a rudo on the Mexican side of the border, in Ciudad Juárez. Rudos are the...

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