They are all women of a certain age; blue-haired ladies using canes, well-preserved sixty-year-olds walking small dogs in the park, or aging beauties meeting old beaus for a posh lunch. And they all have one thing in common: Dr. Georges Burou, who in the ’60s and ’70s operated a clinic in Casablanca where he performed groundbreaking sex-change surgeries.
In this beautifully photographed documentary, five transwomen reflect back on their lives as women, and the various paths that led them to surgery. In a mixture of interviews, home-movies, and scenes of their daily lives, we hear their stories. April, now every inch the British dowager, remembers her mother’s rejection and her early years in the navy. Corinne and Bambi reminisce about their days as showgirls at Le Carrousel in Paris and Colette talks about the difficulties of post-op dating; meanwhile, Jean recounts a life spent travelling back and forth across gender borders.
The film is as much about aging as it is about changing genders. “Once you’ve got white hair, you seem to disappear,” April observes. Now single, Corinne says she misses cuddling, but adds, “there are lots of single women; it’s the same for heterosexuals.” The mood is elegiac, but also triumphant—April tells us that she wakes up every morning with some of the joy she felt waking up for the first time post-surgery. These are self-made women in every sense of the term.
— MONICA NOLAN
In French, German, Dutch and English with English subtitles.
AT&T Audience Award Text Voting Code: D214
San Francisco Transgender Film Festival