Europe Edition

2019 Number 1

Cinema

The fantastic woman

Our flow to the sea

“We were a couple, a normal couple” – clarifies with honesty and simplicity Marina, to the police of the sexual crimes brigade, who after the death of Orlando, investigates her in an invasive and vexatious way, because Orlando doubled her age and Marina is a young transgender woman, which gives the police enough reason to suspect “possible attacks.”

After a romantic evening, when Marina and Orlando rest peacefully, he suffers an attack due to an aneurysm. Desperately Marina tries to reach the hospital with him. However, the speed of the events does not forgive. The confusion and the impact of unexpected death. The end.

This dramatic event is the beginning of a cruel time for Marina, who silently and wistfully roams the city. Trying not to disarm and continue the day, in that perplexity in which it leaves death to those who survive and must continue to inhabit a world that is the same but is violently torn by the impossible loss of the loved one. The film shows the hours, two or three days perhaps, that Marina lives between the death of Orlando and the farewell of her body, at which time, finally, her eyes can rest by letting down oppressed tears.

Marina travels through the darkest hours trying to maintain that internal organization that allows, in crises, to find the strength to follow, the clarity to assess the situation and make the right decisions. Our heroine is characterized by her kindness and courage, is deeply feminine, respectful and delicate, while assertive and direct when it comes to defending her rights and what she loves. She is strong and vulnerable and seems to have always moved in solitude and from loneliness. It is not difficult to empathize with her; on the contrary, it is impossible not to do so.

The city, society or the world that Marina inhabits, presents us as the antagonist. Represented in the first moments by the doctors of the hospital and the police, and later through the ex-wife, the son and other acquaintances, who express in different ways, subtle and brutal, prejudices, resistance, rejection, and a deep lack of empathy for Marina and her duel. Intolerance and rejection of difference are openly revealed to us and, while contrasting with Marina’s kindness and delicacy, they allow us to resonate and understand that loneliness and melancholy that were there long before the duel.

However, the city has lights and shadows. Portals in pastel shades and green trees emerge from the grey cement. Between the serious and moody faces, minimal characters that outline kindness, and become that cup of tea that comforts, like the manicurist who takes care of Marina’s hands when she sees them rude and reflects him with a smile that is not so. Or as the same windshield, which in that beautiful scene opposes the passage of Marina, also lifts the dry leaves, puts everything in motion, cleaning the air of a polluted city.

Likewise, the fantastic woman, manages to mobilize in her viewers kind and empathic emotions towards her protagonist and energizes in our societies discussions about tolerance and inclusion, not only from pure ideology but from the simplicity of our shared humanity, that humanity that reveals itself dramatically before death, that leaves without any advantage and power previously acquired, and that in a beautiful and overwhelming way sings the lyrics of the final song:

Time, flowing like a river

Time, beckoning me

Who knows when we shall meet again?

If ever

But time

Keeps flowing like a river

To the sea, to the sea

Carla Crempien / Clinical Psychologist at the University of Chile. Ph (D) in Psychotherapy from the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile and University of Heidelberg, Germany. Postgraduate in family and symbolic – experiential couples therapy, Institute of Psychiatry and Psychology of Santiago de Chile.

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