A queer movie is always a queer movie

Girl, a Belgian film about a transgender teenage girl, is the latest LGBT box office hit. But film critics insist on saying that Girl is 'not only' an LGBT movie.

Marjan Justaert
Marjan Justaert De Standaard, Belgium
Source: De Standaard
A queer movie is always a queer movie - NewsMavens
Victor Polster, YouTube

Why this story matters:

In an heartfelt appeal to critics, Max De Moor, a young journalist from Belgian news outlet De Standaard asks them not to minimize the LGBT aspect of Girl and other queer films.

Whether writing about Girl, La Vie d'Adèle or Call Me by Your Name, critics tend to minimize the LGBT aspect and ascribe universal significance to the plot. But De Moor believes this can make LGBT audiences feel disregarded, and that the specific nature of homosexual relationships should be recognized as a defining element of the genre.

He compares the tendency with well-intentioned phrases like 'I would have never guessed you're gay!' or 'I couldn't tell you used to be a man!' De Moor writes that such statements are not flattering, even if they are often intended as such.

"It feels like being evaluated acccording to straight standards. Good news if you're on the good side.[But] that's not a compliment, that's cruel."

A prize winning movie about a transgender ballerina

  • In Girl -- a film directed by Lukas Dhont -- 15-year old Lara, born as a boy, dreams of becoming a girl.
  • The Brussels ballet student Victor Polster plays the role of his life, making the gender issues very authentic. We see him playing Lara during hormone treatments and therapy visits, struggling with herself and impatient to complete the treatment.
  • The movie won the Queer Palm at the Cannes Festival in May.
  • Girl is also the official Belgian nominee for the Oscars.
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