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“When I grow up, I’m going to be a girl.” At home in her little working-class French town, Sasha is indeed a happy 7 year-old girl, a playful sister and affectionate daughter. But at school or in ballet lessons, she’s not allowed to be her carefree self, is forbidden from wearing dresses or answering to “she,” for Sasha was born a boy. This moving and clear-eyed documentary records one family’s resolve to have their child accepted by society in the most basic ways—a heartache that should of course be totally unnecessary. With impeccable craft, director Sébastien Lifshitz achieves the kind of tender honesty that can only come from deep trust between filmmaker and subject, as when Sasha’s mom, now her fiercest advocate, admits initial difficulty in wrapping her head around her daughter’s gender dysmorphia. As we witness the strain placed upon this normal family by retrograde bureaucrats, Little Girl stands out for its combination of lovely filmmaking and straightforward plainspokenness. At this point, Sasha’s family doesn’t require sympathy and has moved onto more pragmatic concerns, like getting their daughter in school—as her dad puts it, “it’s not a matter of tolerating. It’s Sasha and that’s it.” (MK)

Presented with support from UW Madison Gender and Sexuality Campus Center.

  • Year
  • Runtime
    85 minutes
  • Language
  • Country
  • Director
    Sébastien Lifshitz
  • Producer
    Muriel Meynard
  • Co-Producer
    Fabrice Puchault, Monica Hellstrøm
  • Cinematographer
    Paul Guilhaume
  • Editor
    Pauline Gaillard