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A Fantastic Woman - Review

by Sofia Ferrara

4/5


A Fantastic Woman, a Chilean production directed by Sebastián Lelio, is a story of bravery and determination, a combination of great visuals and compelling storytelling. Marina Vidal and her partner Orlando are celebrating her birthday – they are happy, in love, and planning to go see the Iguazu waterfalls. In the middle of the night, Marina is awoken by her lover not feeling well. Shortly after, he dies in the hospital, due to an aneurysm.  Marina is transgender, and her lover’s death triggers a series of events that display the biased behaviour society as a whole has towards transgender people. Orlando’s family cannot accept her presence at the mourning ceremonies, and when the police investigates his death, Marina finds herself on the suspect list. The narrative is accompanied by visual metaphors that explore the performativity of gender, showing how weak the line is between male and female, and how pointlessly binding people’s perception of it remains. A Fantastic Woman is the first Chilean film to win an Academy Award for Best Foreign Picture.

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