In “Tomboy,” filmmaker Céline Sciamma’s (“Water Lilies,”) second feature, a family with two daughters, 10-year-old Laure and 6-year-old Jeanne, moves to a new suburban neighbourhood during the summer holidays. With her short haircut and tomboy ways, Laure is immediately mistaken for a boy by the local kids, and decides to pass herself off as “Mikael,” a boy different enough to catch the attention of leader of the pack Lisa, who becomes smitten. At home with her parents and girlie younger sister, she is Laure: hanging out with her new pals and girlfriend, she is Mikael. Finding resourceful ways to hide her true self, Laure takes advantage of her new identity, as if the end of the summer would never reveal her unsettling secret. Céline Sciamma brings a light and charming touch to this contemporary coming-of-age story, which is also about relationships between children, children and parents, and the even more complicated one between one’s heart and body.
ABOUT THE PRODUCTION
At some point, most people have the experience of being the “new kid” in town. For a fourth grader just beginning to discover grown-up feelings of love and attraction – like Laure, the hero of Céline Sciamma’s contemporary coming-of-age film “Tomboy” – the transition to making new friends in a new home can be particularly challenging. Laure’s world is already filled with confusion and transition, as her mother and father are distracted by the impending arrival of a new baby. So perhaps it doesn’t seem that unusual when Laure, with her short haircut, athletic frame, and reserved nature is mistaken for a boy by the kids who live in her suburban housing development. She introduces herself as “Mikael” and begins a summer-long experiment in trying to fit in by passing herself off as something she is not.
This event is co- sponsored by the Women and Gender Studies Institute.