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Laure is a 10-year-old tomboy. On her arrival in a new neighborhood, she lets Lisa and her crowd believe that she is a boy. Truth or dare? Dare. Summer becomes a big playground and Laure pretends to be Michael, a boy like the others and different enough to get the attention of Lisa who falls in love with him.
Laure, a ‘tomboy’ who moved into a new town, fell in love at first sight with Lisa, whom she ran into on the street; and unwittingly introduced herself as ‘Michael’. Laure came to be known as ‘Michael’ not only to Lisa but among other kids as well. The lie begun from her feelings towards Lisa or from her relationship with Lisa, but it gradually started to question her gender identity. No one knew when her gender would be exposed. Under this risky circumstance, Laure/Michael’s love for Lisa and search for her gender identity continued.
This film, the recipient of the 61st Berlin International Film Festival’s Teddy Award, which is given to the best queer film, is a masterpiece that delicately tells a teenaged girl’s coming-of-age story which cannot be cast in a mold created by a society with clear gender roles assigned by differentiating genders exclusively according to men and women. Director Céline SCIAMMA focuses on diverse ‘first experiences’ and searches for gender identities of girls in their early teens in her second work Tomboy as she did in her debut work Water Lilies, which was introduced during the 10th International Women’s Film Festival in Seoul. And with such continuous interest, her art world which was somewhat unripe in Water Lilies ripened when she completed Tomboy. Not only that, the director’s excellence in capturing youthful sensitivity is without parallel. (Jay SOHN)
Celine SCIAMMACeline SCIAMMA
Born in 1978 and grew up in the Paris suburbs. After a master’s degree in French literature, she followed screenwriting courses at the French national film school, La Femis. Water Lilies (2007), her first feature film has been selected in the Cannes Film Festival and in more than 30 festivals worldwide. Acclaimed by the film critics, the film won the prestigious French Louis-Delluc Award. Tomboy is her second feature film.