GIRL INSIDE (Maya Gallus, Canada). 78 minutes. Saturday (April 21), 7 pm, Royal; April 29, 7 pm, Isabel Bader. Rating: NNN Rating: NNN
The latest documentary by partners and collaborators Maya Gallus and Justine Pimlott follows 26-year-old Madison as she works through her challenging transition from male to female.
Quietly fierce and deeply intelligent, Madison is a fantastically open and candid subject. The peripheral characters are similarly captivating, particularly Madison's martini-swilling grandma, Vivien.
But the filmmakers are limited by the particular experience of their protagonist. Madison implicitly and sometimes explicitly comes across as trans-phobic - she looks forward to reassignment surgery as a means of being less trans and more of a "real woman." Gallus doesn't challenge her on this front, understandably - it's hard to imagine a filmmaker wanting to jeopardize such intimate access.
Beyond this, Madison's story is enlightening without being preachy, though it could do without Gallus's heavy-handed symbolism. A skydiving scene spliced in as surgery begins?