France, Belgium

Synopsis

MA VIE EN ROSE is a film about difference.
Ludovic is a little boy who dreams of being a little girl. What seems normal to him doesn't seem that way to other people. Some things are done and some are not, no matter how natural they may feel to us.
It is also a film about a mother and father who don't know how to deal with the strength and tenacity of their child's belief.
The parents react as best they can, but they are hurt by the disapproval that shows in their neighbours' faces.
It is about a peaceful neighbourhood which discovers difference, the fear of strangeness, lack of understanding and rejection.
It is about dreams, magic and hope.

Director/co-writer Alain Berliner des­cribes MA VIE EN ROSE, which screened in the Directors Fortnight in Cannes this year, as 'a film about difference'. Ludovic is a little boy who dreams of being a little girl. He is also a loner with his own ideas about what is normal and what is not. His mother and father, at a loss over how to deal with the tenacity of their child's beliefs, find themselves at the mercy of a previously peaceful neighbourhood, whose only response to anything they consider out-of-the-ordinary is rejection.

Director's Statement

When Ludovic says, "I'm a boy now but one day I’ll be a girl", it makes perfect sense to him. It's like saying, "One day I’ll be grown up." It's bound to happen.
Children live in a world of possibilities, a poetic, open world where the threshold between dreams and reality barely exists. Nothing is definite. Nothing is final.
An adult's vision, on the other hand, is already dominated by appearances, social codes and ideas about what is normal and what isn't. For adults, it's always blue for a boy and pink for a girl.
The movies often treat the issue of transvestism and sexual identity as comedy material. Here, the child's innocence and his amazing certainty make his questions touch our hearts and allow us to understand them.
For the parents, it takes real courage to accept their child's difference because what terrifies them most is the prospect of being different themselves, of being seen differently by other people. I always feel neighbours are like so many mirrors: when one of them reflects a distorting picture, you do your utmost to throw it out.
I wanted to tell the story of this courage, this process of learning to accept. All through the making of the film, I never stopped telling myself that if it happened to me, I wouldn't know how to react.
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Cast & Crew

Directed by: Alain Berliner

Written by: Chris Vander Stappen, Alain Berliner

Produced by: Carole Scotta

Cinematography: Yves Cape

Editing: Sandrine Deegen

Production Design: Véronique Melery

Costume Design: Karen Muller Serreau

Make-Up & Hair: Kaatje van Damme

Main Cast: Michèle Laroque (Hanna), Jean-Philippe Ecoffey (Pierre), Hélène Vincent (Elisabeth), George du Fresne (Ludovic)

Nominations and Awards

  • European Screenwriter 1997
  • Feature Film Selection 1997