Saturday, November 27, 2010

Broadening Your World

Some movies don't merely entertain us, they broaden us.  They expose us to people and situations we haven't encountered before.  With the empathy implicit in the medium, such films enable us to see more of the world which, in turn, allows us to understand things previously unknown to us.  That process is a healthy one.

If you're even a little curious about my early life, I highly recommend a movie that will both entertain and enlighten you.  At times, it's funny; at times, it's sad.  The movie accurately portrays the Procrustean conformity that modern society imposes on the subject of gender.

The film is called "Ma Vie En Rose," which translates to "My Life In Pink."  It's a French film (with English subtitles) made in 1997.

The film is about a family.  It explores what happens to the family when their young son, who believes he is a girl, starts to act like a girl in public.  A suburban block of bourgeois neighbors erupts in social turmoil.

The story is quite engrossing and will likely amuse you.  Perhaps it will also give you a small sense of what my life was like during childhood.


  1. Thanks for the recommend, kiddo and I needed something to watch today! We're about halfway in... I'll let you know her feedback.

  2. Kiddo says: It was very interesting. It was the only movie I've seen that really shows the child's perspective, kind of. Really good! Ralph knows I'm into introspective psychological issues, right? I'm happy that his (Ludovic's) family finally pulled the stick out of their butts.

    Kiddo also agrees that this would be a good movie for school diversity education. I've been debating letting her watch Transamerica but it's so complex.

  3. Thanks, buddy, for watching it, sharing it with your daughter, and offering some feedback. That means a lot to me.

    Of all the people out there, I guessed you would be the one to do this -- and that's a big compliment. I have a very high opinion of you and you keep proving me right.

    It's true that, to a large degree, the movie gives us a child's perspective, something rare in general and especially in this context.

  4. Thanks, sweetie. :) We were raised by bleeding heart liberals (cleverly disguised as semi-responsible adults)! I'm lucky that I have a smart kid who is interested in things that matter to me. She read your interview before too. She wants to be a psychologist when she grows up, and is always game to get inside someone's head.

    One of the reviews I read of the movie debated the line between... is this child homosexual or is it just that the things he wants are things that are those which society assigns to females? However, when I watched the movie it seemed clear that Ludo simply believed that he was a girl. Whether he was TG or TS, only time would tell which path he would choose.

    We talked at the end of the movie about how Ludo's life looked all nice at the end of the movie, but real life doesn't have tidy endings. Ludo's family will go through more strain and changes as he grows, starts to date, etc. There are very few happy endings in real life. So we did wind up moving to the messy, complex Transamerica.

    I'm sure I'll be judged by some for the content I let her watch, but I always watch with her and we talk about everything. I'll always let her watch things that make her think, or feel... but she has to go to her dad's to watch slasher movies!

  5. You are a great parent. There is nothing better than exposing a child to difficult material and then talking with them about it, helping them process the information. Teaching and guiding is what parenting should be, and too seldom is. My hat is off to you.

  6. Thanks for the recommendation. I will definitely watch it and let you know what I thought! :)

    And about your comment - I am really flattered but I do not think everything I wear looks good on me, but after many many errors I have learnt to wear what looks good me and learnt to stand in angles which flatter me ... hehe ... I am vicious like that :P

  7. That sounds like a movie I should see. If I do manage to see it, I'll let you know what I think.

  8. i'm totally going to put this movie in my netflix queue. thanks for mentioning it!

  9. Thanks, guys. I believe you'll find the movie fun as well as informative.

  10. This Movie sounds extremely interesting ! I am definitely going to rent this.

  11. I will have to check it out... I had no control over the remote this weekend.

  12. This is one of my favorite films. I always recommend it to anyone who will listen. And now I'm thinking about it in terms of you and it makes me what to grab you and give you the biggest SQUEEZE!!


  13. Thank you, Tracy. That touches me deeply.

  14. I had heard about it but I haven't seen it yet. Maybe I should finally get that video rental subscription... Sounds very interesting!


  15. I'm a big fan of NetFlix and have used them for many years. Their best feature is an incredibly deep library of films. You'll find obscure ones, including documentaries, old movies and foreign films there you can't see anywhere else. And it's relatively cheap.

  16. J'ai juste loue deux films en francais and I wish I read this post before I walked into the video store! I actually rented Coco Avant Chanel, the movie about Chanel's life but I will rent this one - prochaine fois!


  17. I just watched the trailer (no Netflix here and foreign films other than Hollywood are extremely rare here), well maybe they have it at the Alliançe...
    Just last week I was watching in NatGeo two very interesting series.
    It was like a worldwide research that explored the third gender in India (i think you wrote about this) and how is is recognized but not fully accepted.
    Talked about a town: Juchitan in Mexico where being transgendered is a blessing and they are called Muxhes. They are loved and accepted and even have a week long holiday for them which includes a parade.
    The series was also about how nature has many creatures such as fish that are born one sex and end their life as the another sex.
    It was so very interesting, it had so many stories and it just gave you a lot of food for thought.
    I automatically linked it to you as you are the first transgendered I "know" - and cannot even begin to imagine how difficult it must have been.
    I hope i can get to see this film.