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‘A Fantastic Woman’ Could Have Been Paramount in Portraying a Transgender Woman’s Struggle

"A Fantastic Woman" fails to carry us along in its protagonist's tough journey from bereavement to isolation to confrontation to settlement. Marina can't wait to get out of it.

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Daniella Vega
'A fantastic Women' seems stretched out. Flickr

Film: “A Fantastic Woman” (Spanish, with English Subtitles, based on a transgender woman); Director: Sebastian Lelio; Starring: Daniela Vega; Rating: 1/2 (2 and a half stars)

“A Fantastic Woman” could have been penetrating portrait of a transgender woman’s struggle for dignity after her middle-aged lover suddenly dies on her.

Marina (played with consummate sensitivity by Daniela Vega) never quite recovers from the traumatic shock. Neither does the film. It quickly goes downhill from the point of tragedy, building what looks like a shell-shocked narrative in-sync with the stupor that falls over Daniela’s soul after Orlando (Francisco Reyes) passes away.

The ensuing trauma of a ‘woman’ who is unacceptable to society for her gender and status in the life of the man she loved, is brought out like a dentist extracting rotten teeth. It is a graceless situation.And director Sebastian Lelio goes with the frown, rendering every crease in Daniela’s disheveled existence in shades of black and fright.

Daniela Vega
Spanish makes the dialogue-heavy sequences, makes it seem unnecessarily stretched-out and verbose. Flickr

Daniela’s dilemma is so in-your-face, it hardly needed to be affirmed so strongly by the narrative. Her humiliation is shown in scenes in the hospital and at the police station. And we know what happens to the mistress specially when she is gender-challenged. But Marina’s behaviour post the tragedy eschews empathy. She frets, fumes, snarls and at one point even jumps on to the car of her deceased lover’s family to bounce up and down.

By this point the edgy narrative begins to look uneasily unfocused.

Perhaps Marina’s unconventional methods of protest are a cultural things. Maybe in Chile, the conventions of bereavement are played out at a pitch that seems fairly bizarre to us. Also, the fact that the film is in Spanish makes the dialogue-heavy sequences, such as the one where Marina is confronted by Orlando’s wife in a car basement, seems unnecessarily stretched-out and verbose.

Also Read: Eating diorder can be treated in transgenders

“A Fantastic Woman” fails to carry us along in its protagonist’s tough journey from bereavement to isolation to confrontation to settlement. Marina can’t wait to get out of it.

Neither can we. (IANS)

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Blogger Sues Micro-blogging Site Twitter Over Ban on Tweets About Transgender People

Twitter believes that some groups of people, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities, are disproportionately targeted with abuse online and therefore need extra protection

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Twitter, India, Smartphone
Twitter on a smartphone device. Pixabay

A Canadian gender-politics blogger has filed a lawsuit against Twitter after the microblogging site banned her for tweets criticising the rights of transgender people, the media reported.

According to a report in CNET on Tuesday, Meghan Murphy, founder of the blog Feminist Current, filed the lawsuit on Monday in the Superior Court of California.

Twitter permanently booted Murphy from the platform in November for violating the site’s rules against hateful conduct after she made a reference to a transgender woman as “him”.

This did not go down well with Twitter which updated its policy on hateful conduct late last year.

Twitter, tweets, India
The Twitter logo appears on a phone post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.. VOA

The new Twitter policy prohibits targeting individuals with repeated slurs, tropes or other content that intends to dehumanise, degrade or reinforce negative or harmful stereotypes about a protected category. This includes targeted misgendering or deadnaming of transgender individuals.

Murphy alleged that changing the hateful conduct policy without alerting the public amounted to violation of Twitter’s agreement with users.

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Twitter called the lawsuit “meritless” and added that it “will vigorously defend itself against this suit”, said the report.

Twitter believes that some groups of people, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities, are disproportionately targeted with abuse online and therefore need extra protection. (IANS)