CHILE: A Fantastic Woman (2017)

A Fantastic Woman starts with a tender couple, Marina and Orlando, on a romantic date night. Later that evening Orlando suffers an aneurysm – they rush to the hospital, but it’s too late. Marina’s world begins to fall apart, not just from her grief of her lover’s death, but also that it brings her into close contact with Orlando’s estranged wife and family, whose anger at her is piqued not just because she was Orlando’s girlfriend, but also that she is transgender.

Marina grieves as her life is upended, and her last connections to Orlando are severed and she navigates the humiliations, large and small, that are thrown at her. It’s a powerful and moving film, with exceptional acting by Daniela Vega as Marina. It won an Oscar in 2018 (the first with a trans performer as the lead), and the film helped push through trans rights legislation that year in Chile to protect gender identity and allow for easy changes of names and gender on official documents.

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