In the Bible, Queen Esther is known for her beauty. In Pigeon Town, a rough neighborhood in New Orleans, Ester Pappion is…not. At least according to Ester, herself, a Black trans woman who feels underestimated in the best of times; broken and invisible most times.
Set in the days leading up to Hurricane Katrina, this poignant series follows Ester in her quest to find a way out: out of doing sex work at the local motel; out of a neighborhood stricken with violence and poverty; and out from under the judgmental gaze of her siblings, one of which has found God. For where is this God in a neighborhood teetering on the brink of disaster?
Though she finds encouragement in friends like Denise (Pose’s Angelica Ross)—who made her way out of the motel to a stable home with a family—and through the unwavering support of her mother, it is not until a childhood friend reveals how seen Ester truly is that she finally learns to keep her head held high like royalty. Beautifully shot with strong ensemble performances, also including Janet Hubert (the original Aunt Viv) and a breakout performance from Rowin Amone in the title role, King Ester showcases a gifted filmmaker and storyteller on the rise in Dui Jarrod.
— ANGELIQUE SMITH
SF Sex Worker Art and Film Festival
- Premiere Status: West Coast