Little Girl

Streaming as part of EDFILMFEST AT HOME brought to you by EIFF and Curzon Home Cinema (CHC)

In Sebastien Lifshitz’s latest documentary he looks, not for the first time on the issues surrounding gender dysphoria. 7 year old Sacha lives with her family in small-town France. Assigned male at birth, Sasha has set her heart on being a girl when she grows up.

Mother and father are very open minded and accepting of this, but the problem does not lie in the home, but outside. Her primary school has a hard time accepting Sasha as a girl, in the classroom and in her ballet class.

The family’s doctor is out of his depth here, but is wise enough to understand that, and to suggest that there are specialists in Paris better able to help than he. And help they do, providing an official letter for the school and advice and support for the family, particularly for mum Karine, who harboured guilt about the fact that when she was pregnant with Sacha she was hoping for a girl.

Sasha already has friends at school, and neither they nor Sasha’s siblings find anything remarkable or untoward in the situation. It’s the adults, as always, who bring their own prejudices and worldview to bear.

Lipshitz has a happy ability to let the story unfold without him or his crew becoming entwined with events, simply recording them, and placing them before the viewer without comment. This lack of intrusion is exactly what is needed, and allows adults and children alike to be themselves. There is no finger pointing at those who would oppose the wishes of Sasha and her family. He does, however, quietly build sympathy and support for Sasha throughout.

Jim Welsh

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