Call Me Marianna
*BEST DOCUMENTARY* - Krakow Film Festival
*BEST DOCUMENTARY* - DocAviv International Film Festival
*BEST DOCUMENTARY* - Queer Lisboa
*BEST OF FESTS* - IDFA International Documentary Festival
*GRAND PRIX* - Message to Man International Documentary Festival
*ZONTA CLUB AWARD* - Locarno International Film Festival
*CHARLES E. GUGGENHEIM AWARD* - Full Frame Documentary Festival, NC
“Call Me Marianna is a picture of ultimate sensitivity and respect for a fellow human being." - Adrej Wadja, Oscar Lifetime Achievement Laureate and icon of Polish Cinema.
“Sensitive, intense and complex portrayal of a brave approach to life. The journey through life from man to woman in a dualistically dominated culture, the transformation from being a family man to the finally self-determined life as a woman throws an analytically inspired light on our society and unlocks the protagonist’s extraordinary inner strength.”- Krakow Film Festival Jury
"Bielawska weaves together a remarkably powerful account of this individual’s struggles — and triumphs — on the emotional road she travels to locate her own inner GPS and find acceptance among others." - Huffington Post
Unable to deny the intense feelings of her true gender identity any longer, middle-aged Marianna began the transition from man to woman. The risk of estrangement from her wife, children, and parents became her reality. Homeless for three winter months, she was finally taken in by a few strangers who had previously transitioned themselves.
Polish law requires Marianna sue her parents in order to undergo gender reassignment, and so she begins the legal battle of self-determination. She ultimately wins the case, but in strained phone calls her mother continues to call her by her given name. Acceptance from her family doesn't seem forthcoming.
While Marianna is preparing for her operation, she also meets a sweet older man with whom she begins a relationship. The bliss that follows her transition is not immune to the vicissitudes of life however, and she soon experiences an unexpected misfortune. She seeks refuge in a theater group, where she hopes to make sense of her situation by creating and rehearsing a play based on her experiences.
Call Me Marianna is a film about the supreme value of freedom, and the sacrifices it sometimes takes to actualize it.
A word from Andrzej Wajda, Oscar Lifetime Achievement Laureate:
"The film's protagonist fought a bitter struggle against the world and, in spite of all the hardships, she won. The movie by Karolina Bielawska is a spirited documentary not only because of its topic but also because it is an extremely insightful portrait of the protagonist. “Call Me Marianna” is a picture of ultimate sensitivity and respect for a fellow human being. It is wonderful that young filmmakers can create so mature and lively movies."
75 minutes, in Polish with English subtitles.
Related titles: Brothers of the Night
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