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.