TRANSKIDS2020-07-10T14:28:24-06:00
TRANSKIDS
This film was presented as part of the 2020 Damn These Heels Queer Film Festival.
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Directed by: Hilla Medalia
Runtime: 113 min
Year: 2019
Country: Israel
Rated: Not Rated
Language: Hebrew
Subtitles: English
Film Type: Documentary
Format: Streaming
Restrictions: Available only in the US

The film follows four Israeli transgender teens over a period of four years as they and their families navigate the challenges of gender transformation and self-affirmation amidst the ups and downs typical of high school kids anywhere. The crucible of teen experience intensifies for these young people under the pressures of coming to terms with gender identity, particularly in a country where military service is mandatory and Jewish faith integral to the life of the state.

The film’s heart beats at the level of the personal, in the internal dynamics of the four protagonists, in their evolution and that of their families. Noam, born as a girl, studied at an all-girl religious school; Ofri, the girl who loved soccer, always knew he was a boy; Romy started life as the boy who played with dolls; and Liron, the girl who loved to wear costumes, finally discovered his true identity. Each at their own pace and with varying degrees of parental support, the teens chart their ways through emotional, psychological, and physical alterations of the utmost consequence.

The struggles of the kids and their parents pose fundamental questions about the impact of inherent gender misalignment, the spectrum of parental reactions and responsibilities towards transgender children, and the concept of unconditional love. Against the backdrop of such swirling questions, we have the intense pleasure of watching the four teens master their fears and embrace themselves with pride. The film also gives a glimpse of some practical institutional accommodations for transgender youth by a government that seems at least not legally hostile to them.

– Robert Doares

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