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Directed by Alain Berliner
88 min | 1997 | Belgium/France
Presented in French with English subtitles.
Cast: Georges Du Fresne, Michèle Laroque, Jean-Philippe Écoffey
–Selected by the 2019 Damn These Heels Guest Programmer, Jordan Blok–
Ma Vie En Rose is, both because of and despite it being a seminal film on trans identity, one of the most overwhelmingly gorgeous films I’ve ever seen. The story, which depicts a young trans girl called “Ludovic”, depicts the main characters struggle with her certainty of her transness, the transphobia in her community and the attempts at support by her parents. At a time where trans stories in film were grossly problematic if they existed at all, Ma Vie en Rose gave me, as a child desperately seeking stories of people who were anything like me, a depiction that made me feel seen, and feel community with both the warmth and the tragedy of a character who was so lovingly painted. What I cherish most about the film is it depicts the fantastical aspect of gender dysphoria. The escape into a fantastical imagined self and future, one filled with color and light and self-actualization; and the realized gift of community, and does so through the eyes of child. Though there are ways in which this film has not aged particularly well, it remains a film cherished by trans women to this day, and an essential part of the trans filmic canon.
– Jordan Blok, Guest Programmer”
Winner: Best Foreign Language Film–1998 Golden Globes