IT IS NOT ALWAYS EASY BEING SOMETHING SPECIAL
German production tells the story of nine years old Jewish roots trans-Oskar / Lili (Lauri) through the perspective of the father Ben (Florian David Fitz) a divorced homophobic policeman with drinking problems and acceptance issues, who, unexpectedly, has the chance to immerse deep into parenthood.
At opening credits, family video clips portray happy childhood moments, but immediately afterward reality shows up, Ben’s work is intense with schedules and activities on the street, in addition, he is asked to take care of Oskar and daughter Erna (Ava Petsch) while their mother and ex-wife Mira (Marie Burchard) is at a hospital soon to give birth twins from Cuban inmigrant Diego, who has been a kind of father figure for the children.
In a subtle way, with sharp contrasts and credibility, we learn the complexities for Oskar/Lili of living in the wrong body. The story brings to mind and seems to make a glimpse of Ludovic from the 1997 Belgian film Ma vie en Rose, both family dramas where a child struggles with his identity to be a creation of God. Oskar´s Dress presents worthy insights on acceptance, and during a visit to Oskar/ Lili with his grandmother (Senta Berger) to a synagogue, we listen to the Almighty make mistakes on purpose.
It makes a difference to live in Germany where there is the right to free development and physical integrity, and truly professional social workers of the Child Protective Services are in charge, as it is shown in favor of the minor´s rights.
While working in service, Ben has problems dealing with the kids and brings them to stay overnight at his parent´s home, there, his Jewish father Marion (Burghart Klaussner) makes it clear men in uniform are not welcome. The morning after, there is a moving sequence and conversation between Marion and Oskar/Lili where the child says he likes to read the first and last sentence of a book and imagine the rest since reading the whole book turns out very different from what he thought. Any similarities with his/her reality are pure coincidence.
This whimsical film also shows conflict to provide balance. Quoting Leo Tolstoi: Happy families are all alike, unhappy families are unhappy in their own ways, but that is not true at all if you really think about it
The yellow dress is recurrent throughout the whole film where it is said that the concept of norm average for all the crazy people out there.
Oskar’s Dress was directed by Huseyin Tabak from a script by Actor Florian David Fitz
Review by José Mayorga , Guatemala, Central America lawyer and notary public, visual artist, and editor of El Azar Cultural, lives and works in Guatemala City. Cinema lover, curious about the possibilities life brings and eager to live the experience.