With the Inside Out film festival just around the corner, I am reminded of last year’s festival where I saw some really interesting, amazing and heartwarming films that I hope to tell you all about. I had gone to an event called “Sister Spit” where I won a membership to the festival through their raffle prizes. If it hadn’t been for them, I wouldn’t have been able to access the festival like I did.
One of the movies I saw was called Facing Mirrors, which was set in Iran. The story begins with a woman, Rana, a traditional wife and mother, who has to support herself and her children because her husband is in jail. She drives a cab to help pay off his debt, and only lets women ride with her.
One day, she happens to pick up Edi, who is from a wealthy family. Edi is running away from home, and is desperately waiting for a passport to leave the country before her father marries her off. Edi offers to pay Rana a grand sum for all of her help. At first, Rana is sympathetic towards Edi but when she finds out that Edi is a trans man wanting to go to Germany to access a sex-change operation, her whole world turns upside down. She finds herself facing her morals and values as she stumbles over her inherent prejudice towards Edi.
This is a story of an unlikely but bold friendship budding in the face of social norms and religious beliefs. The bond between Rana and Edi is revolutionary, transcending stereotypes about Muslim women and queer and trans culture in Iran. This is a beautiful and powerful tale, refreshing for a movie about a trans character because so often the stories told about trans folks can be quite depressing. It’s great to see representations of trans people in media including positive outcomes as well as stories of struggle and tragedy.
This trailer is captioned in English.