FFF 2018 Day 2 French Animation, TransMilitary


15,500 Transgender People Currently Serve in Our Military

What company or organization currently employs the largest number of transgender people in America? A silicon valley behemoth? Disney?

No, it’s the United States military which currently employs an estimated 15,500 transgender people.

This well made, thought provoking documentary introduces you to four of the bravest of the brave. By the end of the movie, any open minded filmgoer is left with two indisputable realities. One, a transgender person is fully capable of serving in the military alongside any other soldier. Two, there is way too much prejudice in our country.

It’s difficult to know if a movie like this will only preach to the choir or if it has the capacity to help change the viewpoint of those who hold to unjust biases. But when the protagonists of this documentary met with the highest military leaders in our land, it was obvious they had a positive impact that resulted in words of encouragement and support for their service.

The film was directed by Gavriel Silverman and Fiona Dawson. Fiona was at the screening for a Q&A after the movie. She pointed out that currently 18 countries allow transgender people to serve. When I asked her if our country ever spoke with those other countries to help us figure out how to be more welcoming to transgender service, she acknowledged that our military tends to only look within when creating policies.

After the screening, Mrs. LanceAround spoke privately with Fiona. She gave her a hug and tearfully thanked her for all that she is doing to help our citizens more fully understand the huge amount of injustice our society heaps upon the LGBTQ community. Fiona shared with her some of her efforts in that regard and then gave Mrs. LanceAround two tickets to the next viewing of TransMilitary so Number One Son could also see this wonderful documentary.

Alaska DGAF
This short documentary takes a look at the response of some Alaskans to the news that North Korea now has a missile that could reach their shores. In short, the good people of Alaska just Don’t Give A F***! They have more important things to worry about, such as the shortage of salmon or the wayward bear that wonders into the local market. Knowing some colorful characters who live in Alaska, I was really looking forward to this film thinking it would showcase a humorous array of Alaskan spirit. Perhaps my expectations were too high as I found the movie relatively tame. But Mrs. LanceAround thought it was encouraging to see a group of people who were completely nonchalant about the current social upheavals in our society.

The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales…
Perhaps the best part of this full length family animation from France/Belgium with English subtitles was seeing cartoon characters that, somehow, are refreshingly different from the kind of animation we usually see in this country. It begins with a theatre stage whose unopened curtain and background noises portray a group of anthropomorphic characters who clearly are not ready to tell their stories. This humorous intro sets the scene for three vignettes loosely tied together with reoccurring characters in tales of mishap and cooperation.

Both children and adults will find lots of amusement and a few flat out guffaws at the fast paced action; at times silly and at times poignantly heartfelt. Somehow, by couching all three tales behind a theatre curtain complete with bows at the end of the performance, we are reminded that even the bad guys are part of the team that works together to create tales of amusement and lessons of cooperation.

The movie is directed by Patrick Imbert and Bejamin Renner, who is adapting his own graphic novel. Imbert’s lovingly hand drawn 2-D animation is the perfect visual for the wacky adventures portrayed by the animal theatre group. Take your kids to see this one–and if they can’t read, sit in the back and be ready to read them the subtitles so they, too, can enjoy this wonderful film.

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