Whilst societies progress at different rates, in Britain at least we’ve come a long way over the last few decades when it comes to lesbian and gay rights. The current climate is by no means perfect and there’s still some way to go to achieve parity, but there seems to at least be, for the most part, acceptance. This is sadly not the case in other parts of the world. Unfortunately, that intolerance and hatred seem to have shifted on to trans people. Sebastián Lelio’s latest, A Fantastic Woman, charts one woman’s daily battle through the mirror of loss.
Marina (Daniela Vega) works as a singer and a waitress in Santiago. She has been in a relationship with Orlando (Francisco Reyes), an older man from a higher social class, whom she’s recently moved in with. When he dies suddenly, she’s traumatised and just wants to attend the wake and funeral to say her goodbyes. She finds herself facing wave after wave of transphobia, from the authorities, Orlando’s ex-wife (Aline Küppenheim) and his family.
A Fantastic Woman is a rich and beautiful film about loss, discrimination and a woman’s fight to say one last goodbye to the man she loved. Daniela Vega is an absolute revelation. She’s utterly fearless. Determined in the face of adversity, whilst weary of the constant small and large battles she faces on a daily basis. It’s lusciously shot by Lelio, using colours effusively to give it a rich and vibrant palette. A Fantastic Woman is a powerful drama about grief, intolerance and the daily struggle many endure just to be accepted as a living breathing person.
A Fantastic Woman is released on DVD and Blu-ray by Curzon Artificial Eye on 21 May.