Ovarian Psycos

An Urban Cadence of Power and Precarity

in Transfers

Joanna Sokolowski and Kate Trumbull-LaValle’s documentary Ovarian Psycos (2016) enters working-class Latina culture in East Los Angeles. Seventy-two minutes offer an intimate engagement with the Ovarian Psycos Bicycle Brigade, especially three protagonists, longtime member Xela, daughter Yoli, and newcomer Evie. Its low-angle close-ups and short-focus shots incite an effect of authenticity and uncensored biography. Its stories highlight struggles for social mobility and access to the urban landscape, voice and self-actualization, and womynist-of-color activism. Rap artist, social worker, and guiding Psyco Xela speaks powerfully about the group’s birth and aims. The militancy of her views—expressed by other Psycos as well—may seem jarring and a bit outdated in its separatism.