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Ma Vie En Rose

Updated on June 7, 2010

"Ma Vie En Rose" is an interesting Belgian/French movie dealing with a subject that I'm not sure has ever been dealt with on film, or for that matter really in any other medium. this is not merely a story about a transgender individual, but one who is only seven years old.

Ludovic was born male, but insists that there must have been a mistake and that when she grows up she will be a girl. Things become complicated when she insists on wearing girl's clothes and comments about how she wants to marry the son of her father's boss.

To say that the reactions of the neighbors are ugly is understating things on a massive scale. In their conversations with one another, they voice incredibly homophobic and downright hurtful things to each other, both about Ludovic and eventually about her family, who start out the movie trying to downplay Ludovic's transgendering as him joking or playing, but who over the course of the movie realize that something more fundamental is going on.

This movie can be brutal. I spent the entire film waiting and hoping that someone would finally understand what was going on with Ludovic, but, as the situation would probably go in reality, no one does, instead everyone treating Ludovic either as going through a phase (downplaying the seriousness of  her need to express her gender identity) or as some sort of perverted monster. Some scenes in this movie are just brutal.

But in contrast the film has an incredibly bright and colorful palette, especially in Ludovic's fantasies where she is a girl, frolicing in the world of a Barbie-like doll named Pam. The cinematography is a feast for the eyes throughout this movie.

I also loved how essentially every actor in the movie turns in a performance of extreme subtlety. We can see the confusion and discomfort of the adults who encounter Ludovic, who don' understand what they're seeing, and we can see the flinches of pain in Ludovic's eyes when her desires to be female are casually shot down by the adults around her. The young actor who played Ludovic, Georges Du Fresne, is incredibly talented for one so young. It's also interesting to see how Ludovic's parents go slowly but surely from people who just want their son to grow up and become serious to people who are angered and offended by their son acting out, especially because of the social cost to them.

All in all,this is both a brave and beautiful film. It must be seen and experienced.

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