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
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