Best Transgender Movies ever made
written by Souranath Banerjee
Best Transgender Movies ever made: Transgenders are people whose sense of personal identity or gender expression does not correspond with their birth sex. Among them the ones who desire
medical assistance for transition from one sex to another are called Transexuals.
Prior to the 1960s there is no history of any genuine transgender-themed movies, if you of course don’t consider the comic cross-dressing mockeries in films like I Was a Male War Bride (1949) and Some Like It Hot (1959). Even Ed Wood’s Glen or Glenda (1953) and Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960) only scratched the surface when it came to portraying the real emotions – the happiness and the struggles of a transgender man’s or woman’s life.
But fortunately, in the last few decades there have been many examples of progressive and authentic portrayals of the trans-identity through powerful visuals and thought-provoking dialogues. Some brilliant cinemas with protagonists who are transsexuals or transgenders have been released and their voices been heard throughout the world.
And here is a collection of some of the Best Transgender Movies ever made!
10. Ma Vie en Rose (1997)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8EfW77w9i9c
A young boy who thinks of himself as a girl and is naive enough to openly disclose her feelings to the ruthless society of adults.
Directed by Alain Berliner, a classic coming out story of a transgender girl portrayed with exceptional honesty and a rare quality of innocence. Young Georges Du Fresne is brilliant playing the main role, and cinematographer Yves Cape‘s use of vibrant colours makes the film so very special!
9. The Danish Girl (2015)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d88APYIGkjk
Based on the lives of Danish couple Einar and Gerda Wegener, inspired by Einar Wegener’s transformation into Lili Elbe and undergoing a sex reassignment surgery – one of the first in the history of sex-change operations!
Directed by Tom Hooper and performed by two of the best actors of our times Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander (she won the Oscar in the Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role category).
8. The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QgFDIinCeYI
“A desert holiday, let’s pack the drag away. You take the lunch and tea, I’ll take the ecstasy. Fuck off you silly queer, I’m getting out of here. A desert holiday, hip hip hip hip hooray!”
Directed by Stephan Elliott, this is a unique tale of two drag-queens and a transgender woman on a road trip to perform a drag show at a resort somewhere in the remote Australian desert. A brilliant musical comedy indeed.
7. Romeos (2011)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZHFjDJzrjGE
A twenty year old female to male transsexual man who is going through his gender reassignment treatment meets a local boy and falls for him. But then being in a relationship means to reveal his true identity – a risk that can ruin everything!
Directed by Sabine Bernardi, a highly underrated and yet a superb teenage love-story between two men, one gay and the other a transsexual.
6. A Girl Like Me: The Gwen Araujo Story (2006)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYm0RSEkPoU
In 2002 Gwen Araujo, a young transgender woman who became the victim of hate crime and was brutally murdered by four men. This film is based on the life of Gwen and her struggle to break all barriers of the society.
Directed by Agnieszka Holland, a brilliantly shot film with great performances by JD Pardo and Mercedes Ruehl eventually building up to a tragic heart-wrenching ending.
5. A Fantastic Woman (2017)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJHex4ZitgA
Directed by Sebastián Lelio, the story of a trans-woman in love with an older man but then after the sudden demise of her lover, she has to go through a series of humiliating and degrading events that made her fight for her self respect, her pride and also for the rights for her lost love.
Daniela Vega who is a trans-woman in real life played the central character with surprising efficiency and great conviction.
4. Tomboy (2011)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jb-Oys-IcWE
A 10-year-old girl yearning to become a boy takes the opportunity of being in a new neighbourhood and presents herself as a young lad to the outside world. But till when can he hide his real identity?
Directed by Céline Sciamma, this is a great portrayal of a juvenile closeted transgender boy brilliantly played by Zoé Héran who learns to fight for his gender and his love from a very early age.
3. Laurence Anyways (2012)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZV5uPM2Bls
Ten years in the life of a literature teacher who eventually transforms himself into a woman after years of concealing her real feelings and identity. And the film is also about her one special relationship – her love!
A brilliant transgender drama written and directed by the young and exceptionally talented Xavier Dolan and an exceptional performance by Melvil Poupaud.
2. Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4p9mPhGo1j0
Hedwig – a male to female transsexual woman who is the lead of her rock band and on a tour of the U.S singing her life story through a series of concerts!
Actor/writer/director John Cameron Mitchell not only presents one of the most popular transgender comedy-musical of all time but also superbly performs in the lead (was nominated for the Golden Globes best actor award).
- Boys Don’t Cry (1999)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aOarssJWHhI
Hilary Swank gets her Oscar – Best Actress in a Leading Role for her memorable performance as the transgender man who finds love and friendship in a new town but because of his true identity it all finally came to a brutal end.
Directed by Kimberly Peirce, based on the true story of Teena Brandon who became the victim of a hate crime, this is one dangerously realistic portrayal of the actual tragic incident that happened.
and (The ‘+1′ film is not necessarily the best but certainly the most innovative one. A must watch)
+1. XXY (2007)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LY9fLc0ZUJM
The story of Alex, a fifteen-year-old born with both male and female sex organs. The film portrays Alex’s life as she deals with sensitive questions about her gender identification, her pursuit of love and also how to cope with her uniqueness.
Directed by Lucía Puenzo, one courageous film that not only shows the emotional vulnerably of the intersexual child but her parents anxiety and concern for her as well. Ricardo Darín portrays the role of the child’s father with great conviction.
A few other films that are essentially based on transgender characters: Die Beautiful (2016), Tangerine (2015), Boy Meets Girl (2014), Any Day Now (2012), A Soap (2006), Transamerica (2005), Breakfast on Pluto (2005), 20 Centimeters (2005), Kinky Boots (2005), Wild Side (2004), Normal (2003), Soldier’s Girl (2003), The Badge (2002), Southern Comfort (2001), Princesa (2001), Holiday Heart (2000), All About My Mother (1999), Flawless (1999), The Adventures of Sebastian Cole (1998), Different for Girls (1996), To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar (1995), M. Butterfly (1993), Farewell My Concubine (1993), The Crying Game (1992), Orlando (1992), Paris Is Burning (1990), Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985), In a Year with 13 Moons (1978), Women in Revolt (1971) and Funeral Parade of Roses (1969).
Similar Interest: Best Lesbian Films ever made
Poster courtesy: www.impawards.com, www.imdb.com.