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Dylan

A young transgender tells us his story on his early morning journey to Conney Island.

2015 | 5 - 10 | Documentary | Identity | Live-Action | USA

Dylan is an experimental documentary-film written and directed by New York director Elisabetta Rohrbaugh based on an interview with Dylan Winn Garner, a childhood friend, who once was a girl named Emily. The film portrays the young transgender walking towards the Coney Island’s area at dawn while he explains his story, his exploration in the trans community, his family’s acceptance of his identity, and ultimately his physical and emotional transformation.

The making of the film lasted ten years. The first draft of the project was part of a writing workshop taught by Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen, known for creating “The Exonerated“, a internationally-acclaimed “documentary-theatre” pièce, a format Rohrbaugh became immediately passionate to then use it for the realization of Dylan, once the scipt was finalised.

The result is a very touching film that stands out from many other films on the subject. Not only it generally address the importance of being accepted and of self-discovery, but invites us to think more in detail what it means to be a transgender person: the difficulties in sexual relationships and love, to the complications of surgery. It is therefore an invitation to a greater knowledge of a certain condition, and thus to a greater awareness, very direct and enlightening.

Rohrbaugh manages to mixed very well the narrative codes within the documentary register. At the end of the film Dylan – interpreted with incredible honesty and dramatic skills by New York trans performer Becca Blackwell – takes his clothes off and dips in the open ocean, as to symbolically getting rid of all those difficulties that have oppressed him for so many years, and to find freedom in love and self-acceptance.

Tommaso Fagioli

Tommaso Fagioli

Tommaso Fagioli

Founder, creative director, curator @ Good Short Films. Fond of great stories, great thinkers, great booze. My motto is, your motto.

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