There have been many films and shows that try to show trans representation. Movies like Boys Don’t Cry, Transamerica, and The Danish Girl. While they all are amazing movies in their own right the trans people that are portrayed in the film are played by cisgender actors. They recieve critical acclaim for their acting. Hilary Swank even won the Oscar for Boys Don’t Cry. The Danish Girl was nominated for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress. One movie that was over looked at the Oscar’s last year was Tangerine.
Tangerine was a small indie film released in 2015.The plot of the movie is a trans street worker comes out of jail to find out her boyfriend, who also is a pimp, was cheating on her from her best friend. Over the course of the movie she is searching for her cheating man and the girl he cheated with. While her friend is struggling to become a singer. The film is shot in a very raw form. It is so much more than the plot as well. It offers a deep and insightful look into the world of these characters all over the course of day. That day happens to be Christmas Eve.
The character of Sin-Dee is played by Kitana Kiki Rodriguez. This is her first film.She is a transgender actress whose own past as a sex worker is portrayed in the film. Her raw talent give the character the authenticity it deserves. She does not glamorize the character. The second main character Alexandra is portrayed by Mya Taylor. Mya is also a trans actress with a past in sex work. Her portrayal as Alex is much more refined than Kiki’s acting. Where as Sin-Dee is impulsive Alex is subtle.
Both actresses give this film amazing depth and character. To see trans characters played by trans actresses is a beautiful thing to see. The worry for me about this film was that that these girls were untrained actresses, but that’s what made it great. It wasn’t over thought or acted. It felt as though they were just living and a camera was following. Apparently I wasn’t the only person who loved this movie. Both actresses, the director, and the entire feature were nominated at the Independent Spirit Awards. They were snubbed by the Academy Awards however. That year was also #OscarsSoWhite so the lack of representation was pretty abundant.