1. I have rarely been so conflicted about a movie as I am about this one.
2. If I had to describe the actual movie in one word, it would be "exquisite". If I had eight more words, they would be "one of the best movies of the year". But if I had ten more words, they would be "why did they change so much of the real story?"
3. The movie is a pseudo-biography of Lili Elbe, one of the first known transgender women to undergo sex reassignment surgery. And that's exactly the problem - it is a pseudo-biography. The movie is not based on Lili's journals or the couple's real story - it's based on a fiction book about Lili.
4. The plot is about two married painters, Gerda and Einar Wegener, in 1920's Copenhagen. A series of small, random events slowly leads Einar to realize that he is really a woman. This challenges everything the two of them know.
This film was made as a re-creation of the life of Lily Elba, a Danish born male, with severe gender dysphoria. Basically this DSM4,5 diagnosis is for a person with a biological sex, that desires to live permanently and legally as the opposite sex and gender. In most parts of the world and in most states of the United States, medical & surgical intervention is necessary to create a medically acceptable and legally binding gender change. I spent twenty years studying this condition with psychologists and medical people. In 2009, I myself, under went the SRS or GRS; from born male to accepted female. My surgery followed the pioneering work of surgeons in Denmark and around the world. In 2009, I was following the surgical path of Lily Elba, some eighty years of medical advances later. I obviously survived the six hour surgery, that is commonplace today in the USA, as well as in the Far East. No, I am not famous. Christine Jurgenson in 1953 became famous...
THE DANISH GIRL is a beautiful, yet sad, story reflecting the confusion and pain involved when a man realizes he has been living a lie. Although this takes place in a different time in history, it shows the difficulties and strength it takes to follow your heart, no matter how it reflects to others. The acting is superb, and the film itself may haunt you when you realize this human struggle goes on in today's world.
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