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Korean Premiere SYNOPSIS Real Boy is an intimate story of a family in transition. As 19-year-old Bennett WALLACE navigates early sobriety, late adolescence, and the evolution of his gender identity, his mother makes her own transformation from resistance to acceptance of her trans son. Along the way, both mother and son find support in their communities, reminding us that families are not only given, but chosen.
Real Boy is a documentary film on the 3-year-long transition of BennetWALLACE, a singer-songwriter based on California, USA. As the title suggests a question on the word “real”, I have to ask the layers of the word “real”.For the context, I would like to take 4 layers of meaning of this word “real”: authentic, practical, existing, actual. On top of that, ‘real’ is not about being but about doing as transgender subjectivities say and show through their lives. Through days of infants, liberal childhood living as a tomboy, one enters into school days in which one gets discordant with the gender order, and psychological suffering takes shape. After these school days, one is challenged with one’s identity, finds another group of people who resembles themselves, and tries to communicate with one’s family. Looking down on the tattoo engraved as ‘Real Boy,’ he must have tried to make shifts on his own body, and to maintain self-esteem, and confirmation. Through the life of a transgender subjectivity, we need to make access to alienate our concept of life as process of doing and as truth, actuality, existence, etc, to rethink how much more endeavor should one make, and thus to concern on the reason why someone is to be exposed to discrimination and violence. The biggest virtues of this documentary are the portrait of friendship among male transgenders, and the lyrics that no other one can write. These virtues would appeal the most to male transgenders among anyone else. (Na Young-jeong)
Real Boy is an intimate story of a family in transition. As 19-year-old Bennett WALLACE navigates early sobriety, late adolescence, and the evolution of his gender identity, his mother makes her own transformation from resistance to acceptance of her trans son. Along the way, both mother and son find support in their communities, reminding us that families are not only given, but chosen.
Shaleece HAASShaleece HAAS
Shaleece HAAS is a documentary filmmaker based in LA. Her films are marked by a balance of poignancy and humor, and by intimate character-driven storytelling that invites audiences deep into the interior worlds of their protagonists. In addition to filmmaking, Shaleece teaches at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and leads video storytelling workshops for the Berkeley Advanced Media Institute and the NY Press Association. She is a graduate of the documentary film program at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. She produced and directed the ITVS-funded film Real Boy, which premiered at BFI Flare in London.