A story about five young people who neither feel male nor female, but rather position themselves somewhere in between. Everyday they are confronted with being different, yet they are proud to be who they are. The young people portrayed in this film all have their own struggles and together they create a compelling story about acceptance.
This compilation of four films has multiple, thought-provoking topics to think about, and hopefully after, talk about. They include the struggles of young, Afghani women being musicians in a time when it looks like the Taliban will be coming back to power. Other films from the Netherlands and Argentina follow families who are dealing with children on gender journeys unfamiliar to them. The last film, 2nd Class, is quite relevant to what is happening here in our own country when it comes to reacting to white supremacists. The reel includes the following films…
SOMETHING ABOUT ALEX – A young teenager develops a close friendship with his older sister’s boyfriend, and must confront the depth of his feelings when the couple announces that they will be moving away. (2017 / 18 mins / Netherlands / dir Reinout Hellenthal / live-action / Dutch w/English subtitles)
ORCHESTRA FROM THE LAND OF SILENCE – You’ll defeat the beast with the power of music. Zohra – the first female orchestra of Afghanistan. Girls are preparing for their journey to play a concert in Europe. We see their everyday reality in contemporary Afghanistan through the eyes of 16-year-old girl Marzia. After arriving in Europe unexpected thing happens and four members of the orchestra decide to run away… (2020 / 30 mins / Afghanistan, Slovakia / dir Lucia Kasova / documentary / English, Persian and Slovak w/English subtitles)
THE NAME OF THE SON (El Nombre del Hijo) Lucho, a 13-year-old trans boy, doesn’t usually share much time with his father. When he goes on vacation with him and his younger sister, the new closeness puts their relationship to the test. (2020 / 13 mins / Argentina / dir Martina Matzkin / live-action / Spanish w/English subtitles)
2ND CLASS (2ND CLASS – 2021 Special Jury Award Best Short Live-Action Film!) This is a story about an elementary school teacher who is violently attacked one night by a neo-Nazi. After healing enough to return to the classroom she finds out that the man who attacked her is one of her student’s fathers. What does she do? And why? This film demands a conversation after viewing. WARNING: Graphic scene with profanity. Recommended age 13+ (2018 / 13 mins / Sweden / dir Martina Matzkin / live-action / Swedish w/English subtitles)
What happens when a diverse group of LGBTQ youth dares to be “out” on stage to reveal their lives and their loves? THE YEAR WE THOUGHT ABOUT LOVE goes behind the scenes of one of the oldest queer youth theaters in America, with a camera crew slipping into classrooms, kitchens, subways and rehearsal rooms. Boston-based True Colors OUT Youth Theater transforms daily struggles into performance for social change. With wit, candor and attitude, this cast of characters captivates audiences who may be surprised to hear such stories in school settings. THE YEAR WE THOUGHT ABOUT LOVE introduces a transgender teenager kicked out of her house, a devout Christian challenging his church’s homophobia and a girl who prefers to wear boys’ clothing even as she models dresses on the runway. When real bombs explode outside their building, the troupe becomes even more determined to share their stories of love to help heal their city. Brave, encouraging, and funny…these are the inspiring LGBTQ youth leading us into the future.
Sometimes a carefully placed kiss on the cheek can stay with you longer than a clumsy vampire’s bite to the neck. This first feature starring Zoe Kazan (“It’s Complicated,” “Revolutionary Road”) is on one level a very simple story: a look at the quiet emotional crises of a 20-year-old college student on spring break. But it has been crafted with such a skilled, subtle hand that it holds our interest without noticing how it’s done.
“The Exploding Girl” confronts the mysteries of everyday life by focusing not on life’s dramatic moments but on the low-key spaces in between. With all of the awkwardness that never makes it into a Hollywood film, this is a great film for teens coming of age to see with Mom or Dad.
“This quietly poetic little gem contains many beautiful things, not least of which is leading lady Zoe Kazan, who lets every scene billow and swirl around her effortlessly.” Joe Neumaier – New York Daily News
“The Exploding Girl” is a lovely, languorous film that does much with little and leaves you feeling like you’ve witnessed some minor miracle. Kazan’s done some good work in supporting roles, but this should put her on the map as the real deal.” Laura Clifford – Reeling Reviews