Cisgender Woman plays Transgender Woman in Lola Pater

Lola Pater

A cisgender woman was cast as a transgender woman in Lola Pater, a French film that screened recently at the Locarno Film Festival.

The film is directed by Nadir Moknèche and stars Fanny Ardant, Tewfik Jallab, Nadia Kaci.

The synopsis for the film: “When his mother dies, Zino decides to find his father, Farid. But 25 years ago, Farid became Lola…”

From the review in The Hollywood Reporter:

One could question director Moknech’s decision to not use a real trans person to play Lola, although in his defense there are probably zero trans stars in France who could get such a movie financed. Perhaps more problematic is the choice to use the very French-looking and sounding Ardant to play a character who, before her transformation, was an Algerian man named Farid Chekib.

I suppose the transgender community can consider it a win that the role went to a cis woman, Fanny Ardant, rather than a cis male—the latter of which leads to more damaging repercussions with everything it implies.  It is positive to see a film in which a trans role is given the leading role.  It’s just a bummer that this role has been cast to an actress who isn’t transgender.

Lola Pater screened last week at the Locarno Film Festival.  Doc & Film International is handling world sales for the drama.  There is no word yet on a distributor in the US.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.

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