2013 April 14: Reflecting on TomBoy

by Lerato Dumse

On the 13 April 2013 I had the pleasure of going to watch Tomboy a

French film directed by Céline Sciamma hosted by Out In Africa Film

Festival. The film was about a young girl who battles with Ambiguous

gender roles.

Set in France, the movie begins with Laure getting driving lessons

from her father. The father and daughter have a very close and

somewhat masculine relationship. Soon after the intro the family move

to a new place and the ambiguous looking Laure promptly introduces

herself as “Mikael” to a new found friend and everyone assumes she’s a


Apart from having to hide in the woods to pee, while the other boys

line up next to the soccer field, things go well for the 10 year old

who spends time mimicking typical boys behaviors, playing football and

even getting a kiss from Lisa.

Further on in the film, Laure’s six year old sister figures out the

secret and sworn not to tell if Laure plays with her.  The six year

old is seen delighted by the thought of having an older brother who

protects her from bullies.

However, things seem to be taking a turn for the worse for Laure when

she gets into a fight with a boy in the neighborhood, who then report

the beating he got to his mother then the mother went to report the

matter to Laure’s mother, who was surprised when the woman at her door

said “her son got into a fight”.

Laure is then forced to reveal her real identity, which her mother

does agonizingly by making her put on a dress.

The film will be screened again on the 20th April 2013, go out there

and see it for yourself, and I promise it will leave you astonished at

how well written the story-line is. Some scenes will make you roar

with laughter while others bring you to tears.

Those who attended the screening agreed it would be unfortunate, if

the movie doesn’t grow beyond LGBTI film festivals. With that in mind,

it is important for South Africans to also tell these stories. To

reflect on the issues and/or circumstances that masculine young girls

have to go through.

Previous articled by Lerato

2013 April 2: Do good even when faced with difficulties

2013 April 2: He loves us all, just go to church and find God

2013 March 28: Failed justice

2013 March 28: Feather Awards (re)viewed


This entry was posted in Art Solidarity, Articles, Before You, Community, Connections, Creating awareness, Life Stories, Love, Readings, Visual history and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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