Little Girl – Film Review

The documentary film always has the same set of questions regardless of the subject: What perspective is shown? Who is not ? What is left out of the frame and how was what is left in it organized by the filmmaker? At Sébastien Lifshitz Little girl, these questions become all the more relevant as the declared subject (object?) of the film is a shy 7-year-old boy who spends a lot of time on the screen but not a lot of lines.

Sasha knew she was trans since she was 2, and although her family quickly accepted her and allowed her to express her identity through dresses and dolls, her school administrators are forcing her to. to present himself as a boy at school. It affects all aspects of her experience: children are mean, teachers limit violence; even his few friends refuse to use his pronouns. In ballet class, the teacher hands out dresses to all the other girls, but gives Sasha a bright orange pantsuit and calls her “champion”. Cinematographer Paul Guilhaume also paints dreamlike blissful scenes, playing in the garden with siblings, trying on a pink bikini – in these moments we see Sasha’s personality the most.

But her mother Karine has disproportionate screen time and often shapes Sasha’s narrative in terms of a relationship or the angst she feels about Sasha’s struggle to be accepted. Karine wonders if it is “her fault” because she wanted a girl so badly during her pregnancy (the doctor reassures her that this is not the case); remembers the first time she saw how happy Sasha was in a dress – “After that, I didn’t care what people thought.” She’s loving and fiercely protective, but her presence is so important that it’s hard to get a clue what Sasha herself is thinking. At one point, Karine said: “I told her, it’s her fight and mine. This is the fight of my life.

Whether Sasha’s relative silence is because she’s just a quiet child, because she’s being filmed, or because director Lifshitz thinks audiences will identify more with Karine is unclear, but the the ultimate effect is that the film is more about Karine’s battle than about Sasha’s. This in itself is a gripping and gripping story, but in all the sibling, doctor, and administrator interviews about her, it’s hard not to wonder what Sasha is thinking – she seems to have a sense of itself loud enough for us to hear it. it directly.

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