A cisgender male director, Lukas Dhont, directs a cisgender male, Victor Polster, in an attempt to depict the transgender experience in Girl.
I had a sigh of relief going into the morning in which the final TIFF films were announced. Then I cringed. This is because of yet another film starring a cisgender male as a transgender film. It had been selected to screen during TIFF and I could not be angrier.
As I arrived to pick up my selected press tickets, I had to deal with the images of a cisgender male portraying a transgender woman in the hotel. Suffice it to say, I was angry at the sight. I had no intentions then nor do I with regards to Girl. Consider this a non-review if you will.
I said it during my interview with Jake Coyle of the Associate Press but I will never watch this film. It’s already selected as the Belgian foreign language entry for the Oscars so I know it will be inevitable for Netflix to send an awards screener. I’ll say it again: my boycott of this film remains firm.
When I was on the ground, some of my fellow film critics asked me if I would be watching Girl. I understand the need for wanting transgender film critics to chime in. At the same time, I’d prefer those films that actually cast transgender actors in trans or cis roles. Like The Sisters Brothers and Colette, for example!
According to my knowledge, there were at least three transgender film critics on the ground in Toronto. I know that two of us did not watch the film during the festival.
I don’t know about the others but I never will.