Sunday, July 28, 2013

"Tomboy", French film about a possibly TG child, screened by William and Mary GALA in Washington

On Saturday, July 27, 2013, William and Mary GALA sponsored a screening of the 2011 French film “Tomboy”, directed by Celine Sciamm, from Wolfe Video – at the Busboys and Poets restaurant at 5th and K in Washington DC (nearest Metro is Mt. Vernon Place and the DC Convention Center).  The main speaker was Leisa Meyer, William and Mary History Department chairman and Professor of American Studies and History at the college. (See Oct. 21, 2011 entry on this blog for account of a short film about GALA.)  She is author of "Creating G.I. Jane: Sexuality and Power in the Women's Army Corps". 

The film depicts a 10 year old girl, Laure (Zoe Heran), who is mistaken for a boy by her peers and masquerades on the playgrounds as Mickael, until eventually her pregnant mother (Sophie Cattani) finds out and confronts her. 

There are some obvious delicate scenes involving challenges among the kids, but what is more interesting is the family dynamics (Mathleu Demy play the more versatile father).  Mother, eight months pregnant,  is often on bed rest and needs attention from the family, and a new baby is born, leading to a scene that curiously reminded me of Stanley Kubrick’s “Barry Lyndon” (1975). And there is dialogue that boys, to become men, need to learn to protect women and children.

There were lots of questions from the audience (heavily female) after the screening, including one from me, about whether people today understand the culture I grew up under a half-century ago, where it was believed that people had to step up within their biological roles and be ready for “sacrifice” or others would have to.   The professor mentioned that progress in the military, not only the lifting of “don’t ask don’t tell”, but the acceptance now that women can serve in combat.
The official Facebook site is here

The film can be rented “legally” on Youtube for $1.99.  Wolfe is particularly enthusiastic in warning consumers about the harm of piracy to LGBT filmmaking.
Visitors may know that I have discussed my own expulsion from William and Mary as a freshman right after Thanksgiving in 1961 for “admitting” to the Dean of Men in a called meeting (curiously, the Friday evening after Thanksgiving) that I was a “latent homosexual”.  That’s covered in detail in my books and on the “BillBoushka” blog Nov. 28, 2006.

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