An incandescent coming-of-age tale about a ballerina-in-training struggling against the restraints of her male body.
A powerful and timely debut from Lukas Dhont, this Caméra d’Or- and Queer Palm-winner charts the frustrations of 15-year-old transgender girl Lara, who harbours a single-minded ambition to become a prima ballerina. As she grapples with the pain of transitioning, and adolescent turmoil, the hard discipline of ballet pushes the pliability of her body to precarious limits.
Dhont and virtuoso Dutch cinematographer Frank van den Eeden interweave camera and narrative seamlessly, choreographing Lara’s visceral joys and pain in impressionistic bursts of movement, to an uncompromising score. At the center of the frame is revelatory lead Victor Polster, whose breakout bravado performance echoes Hilary Swank’s in Boys Don’t Cry (1999), and garnered Best Performance in Un Certain Regard at Cannes. Girl sets itself apart with a wilful proclamation of agency and honest excavation of teenage transgender anxieties.
Cast & Credits
Belgian director Lukas Dhont graduated from Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent. His short films Headlong (2012) and L’Infini (2014) won multiple festival awards, including Best Belgian Short Film at the 2014 Ghent International Film Festival. Dhont directed several music videos, and was nominated for a Flemish Music Industry Award for Oscar and The Wolf’s ‘Strange Entity’ (2014).
Lukas Dhont, Angelo Tijssens
Victor Polster, Arieh Worthalter, Oliver Bodart
*FIPRESCI Prize, Cannes Film Festival 2018
*Golden Camera, Cannes Film Festival 2018
*Queer Palm, Cannes Film Festival 2018
*Un Certain Regard, Best Actor, Cannes Film Festival 2018
*Golden Duke, Best Acting, Odessa International Film Festival 2018
*In Competition, Golden Duke, International Competition, Odessa International Film Festival 2018
*Official Selection, Melbourne Film Festival 2018