Saturday, 17 February 2018

A Fantastic Woman/Una Mujer Fantastica (2017)

Writer/director Sebastian Lelio has made a truly fantastic film. After a woman's much older partner dies, she is excluded from mourning his life and inheriting his possessions by his ex-wife and family. Lelio captures the way a transwoman is treated in western society, both by those with outward disdain and those whose politeness barely hides a discomfort which contributes to keeping her outside.

Lelio takes a rather straightforward approach which holds the microagressions (which lead to marcoagressions) in plain sight. His fantastic woman at the centre of his film, Marina, played by Daniela Vega, suffers it all with a grace and quiet strength. But it is not those moments which truly bring the film to life. We need to see the way she is treated to understand the world she lives in, but that isn't what this film is about. It is about her fantastic elements. There is a sequence in the middle which allows Marina to truly be free, to be herself. It is glorious and lovely and fantastic.

Marina lands on her feet but we are given a taste of Marina's day to day experience. We are also given a glimpse of her glory and that is where the film truly soars.

A Fantastic Woman
Starring: Daniela Vega, Francisco Reyes
Director: Sebastian Lelio
Writers: Sebastian Lelio, Gonzalo Maza

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