In the News: Sex-Change film at Cannes


Transgender has hit Cannes! Xavier Dolan, a 23-year-old Canadian director (youngest ever in the Cannes selection) brings his film “Laurence Anyways” to the screen. The story features Laurence, a popular high school teacher, who creates waves by explaining to his partner that he has always felt like a woman trapped inside a man’s body.

His partner, shocked at first, stands by her (wo)man as he takes steps towards a full-blown sex change.

“It’s a love story between a pair of misfit dreamers: you have two heroines, who show two very different forms of courage,” Dolan told AFP in an interview.

Laurence (Melvil Poupaud) and Fred (his female lover played by Suzanne Clément) are enjoying a passionate affair, when in 1989, Laurence announces suddenly that he wants to die – that he wants to be a woman. A ten year journey follows with all the trials and tribulations one might expect.

This isn’t Dolan’s first time at Cannes. This is his third entry in the film festival and this time he wears many hats – director, writer, costume designer, as well as designing his own press kits. He admits being disappointed that “Laurence Anyways” wasn’t included in the Palme D’Or race because he is convinced the film would have been a worthy contender.

“Sometimes you are just in the right place at the right time, the temperature is right, the camera is right. You just feel it in your guts.”

The running time for the film has been criticized as lengthy at 2 hours 39 minutes, but Dolan explains that the script was always long. “It’s always been a story told in 10 years, and a story told in 10 years, told in 10 minutes, is just a series of irritating sketches that gives an impression of length that surpasses by far the real length of the film.”

Check out the “Laurence Anyways” trailer:

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