Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Young Girl Talk (Film Review: Tomboy)

When people ask me why I still subscribe to Netflix discs (versus their streaming services) it's because I always find rare gems in their Independent/Foreign Language sections. "Tomboy" is one such gem. Directed by Celine Sciamma, it is one of those movies that are quiet, and kinda slow, and it hits you without you even knowing. At 88 minutes, it is kind of short, and it sometimes feel like it's not doing anything. But, it is also a movie that makes you think, and this case, it makes you ponder about gender identity and sexuality. Zoe Haran is a ten year old girl who pretends to be a boy She dresses like one, and acts like one. She goes out and plays with other boys, and because of how she makes herself look physically, the other kids are none the wiser. And basically, until about three quarters of the movie, that is it - until a major complication surfaces, and you are suddenly hit with a dilemma, an idea. Is gender identity connected to sexuality? Why would a ten year old girl try hard to be a boy when there seemingly is nothing sexual in her intentions? The film doesn't give you an answer, it just presents the question. And now, here I am, still thinking about what the movie asks me, and of me. There were times when scenes in the movie made me very uneasy and uncomfortable. I sympathized with Laure, the little girl, and she is presented that way because it also shows that she is a loving sister to her younger sibling. And when revelations surfaced at the end, you end up feeling torn.  Just like most things in life, there are no rights and wrongs. 

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