Sunday, August 5th, 2012


There are all sorts of ‘Romeos’ in this very
innovative and somewhat daring tale about gender identity that is about how
very tough it can be just being one’s self.
The setting is a couple of dormitories in Koln, Germany where
young adults are based to do a year of social studies. The film opens with
Lukas protesting that he has been wrongly allocated a room in the women’s
quarters, and the Dorm Supervisor tells him that she will do her best to
rectify the situation.  We gradually
realize that the confusion has been caused because Lukas is a pre-op
transsexual and although taking hormones has not yet had ‘re-alinement’
surgery so is still technically a female.
The only person besides the Supervisor to know this is
Ine who was Lukas’s best friend at school when he was still known as Miri
(Miriam). Ine is a lesbian and as she includes Lukas in her group when she goes
out for fun in the evening, he gets to mix with all her gay friends.  One of them, Fabio, a hot looking very
popular young man, takes a shine to Lukas, and much to his surprise he rather fancies Fabio too.  When Fabio tries to make his move, he is
therefore very confused when Lukas suddenly turns cold on him.
Lukas goes to great lengths to hide his secret, but he truth about his gender is finally revealed by accident
when his family come to visit, and the news is heard by the whole dorm and also by
Fabio who runs off in a panic. Now that Lukas has been exposed for who he is,
and rejected by the one person (other than Ine) that he was getting close too, the
going gets quite tough for him.
What makes this wee story more authentic is the
matter-of-fact way that it deals with young Lukas’s journey of self discovery
and how others around him deal with the confusion it creates.  It’s told in such a clear way that makes it
both easy to understand and sympathize without resorting to including any
violence that so often seems to happen in these situations. That’s probably because
writer/director Sabine Bernardi ‘s
movie is evidently based on her own very similar life experience.  Credit also to the very young and extremely convincing cast, esp. Rick Okon as Lukas who I was convinced was a female until I saw the final credits (and then later read that Miss Bernardi had invested in some good prosthetics for the two naked  scenes!)
It’s thought provoking and
profound, but it is also wildly funny and tender too as it is, after all, a rather
sweet love story.
A sensitive topic very well done, and an entertaining movie to boot, and is now out on DVD.


Posted by queerguru  at  18:31


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