Friday, June 20, 2008

Transexuality


Two views of Be Like Others

TAKE ONE In Iranian director Tanaz Eshagian's Be Like Others, fear hovers over a whole nation, leading to schizophrenic behavior. By concentrating on three different individuals before and after they went through sexual reassignment operations in Iran, Eshagian reveals an incredibly sad and asphyxiating society — one where homosexuality is banned and punishable by death but changing one's sex is legal.

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Eshagian's project is exceptional because it leaves the viewer enlighteningly confused about Iranian attitudes toward gender and law. The most fascinating character in the film is a transgender woman dedicated to the care of patients in transition. She is supportive, devoted to her patients' well-being, and fully entrenched in the traditional Iranian views of men and women.

6 comments:

Pedestrian said...

I haven't see it yet!

I am deeply curios to find out about what I think of it. And also how she portrays homosexuality in Iran: a deeply complex social/cultural/religious/political issue or just a matter of politics.

DivaJood said...

That's rather hypocritical - homosexuality is illegal but gender reassignment is not. This is one of those areas that governments ought not meddle.

Naj said...

Diva,

The thing is, this is not the government intervening. This is "a deeply complex social/cultural/religious/political issue "

The government's intervention, in a way is to acknowledge that some people need to exercise their gender outside their sexuality.

You can be gay, and stay in closet, as much as you want, and I am sure no one will force you to sex-change; AS LONG AS you stay in closet.

You have to keep in mind that the government in Iran is a religious one; imagine living in Vatican and then saying pope should not meddle in priest's bedroom business ;)

Hydra said...

dear naj,

I've seen this film. a great effort, in my view. before seeing this film, i was more positive about the iranian sex change policy than now. as shown in the film, there are homosexuals who don't wanna have a sex change operation, but they have to, as it is their only way to have some kind of a "normal" life. but how normal is this really? the government and soiety is forcing gay men to become female, because that's acceptable????

you're right. it's not only the government, but also the society and culture that are oppressing these individuals... families not accepting their own children...

A.N.Iraqi said...

Incidentally...


Iran is safe for 'discreet' gays, says Jacqui Smith

bijan said...

Interesting, but the first thing that came to my mind was the 1992 movie, The Crying Game, with Stephen Rea & Forest Whiteker. Also a very touching and interesting movie. See it if you can or read about it here. If you don't want to spoil the surprise don't read the whole plot.