Yesterday afternoon, I wandered into the Boulder International Film Festival showing of The Regretters, an interesting, subtle documentary about two Swedish men who underwent sexual reassignment surgeries to become female. While they were stuanchly different personalities, they both had one thing in common: they regretted their decision. Gender confused and so very lost, the men discuss and interview eachother about their decisions, about their time as young boys, about their time as women and about their lives now—one had reconstructive surgery and the other is in the process of having reconstructive surgery.
It’s one of those films that doesn’t knock you over the head. It’s not all flash and pizzazz. But there is something magnetic about it; there’s a sweet charm to these men and there’s something alltogether otherwordly about their stories. Even the post-movie expert panel seemed to be confused by at least one of the men; it should be noted that the two experts said that the film does not represent the vast majority of those who have transitioned. They also felt that the movie upheld misleading stereotypes about the trans community: specifically, that they regret making their transition.
But to me, that’s just the point of the movie. It gives voice to people who represent a very small population. It’s a perspective. It was unadorned conversation between two men with vastly different experiences and lots of unhappiness and even more confusion. With that said, I thought having the expert panel after the film was a brilliant move. It helped give the movie context in the much bigger world.