Director: Malou Reymann

Runtime: 97 minutes

Cast: Kaya Toft Loholt, Mikkel BoeFølsgaard, Rigmor Rante, Neel Rønholt

Synopsis: Emma (11) has a perfectly normal family until one day it turns out that her dad, Thomas, is transgender. As Thomas becomes Agnete, both father and daughter struggle to hold on to what they had, while accepting that everything has changed.

URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PsB8RFnFFGM

Danish director Malou Reymann makes her debut feature with this gentle, open-hearted, semi-autobiographical drama based on her own childhood experience of her father transitioning to female. Winner of the Big Screen Audience Award at the Rotterdam Film Festival earlier this year, its story is told from the perspective of 11-year-old Emma (an outstanding Kaya Toft Loholt) and it presents a nuanced and timely portrait of family life.

A Perfectly Normal Family tells the story of Emma, whose home life suddenly becomes more complicated when her mother Helle (Neel Rønholt) tells her and her older sister Caroline (Rigmor Rante) that they plan to divorce.

Then her father Thomas [Mikkel Følsgaard – A Royal Affair (2012), Land of Mine (2015)] announces that he has chosen to identify as a woman. Witnessing Thomas become Agnete, Emma struggles to hold on to the relationship they had, whilst acknowledging her parents’ feelings for her have not changed. Reymann’s drama sensitively explores the issue of trans identity from the wider perspective of domestic life and in doing so questions the very essence of what we mean when we talk about family.

Malou Reymann has commented:”I am very interested in norms and how to break them. In any society we know, there is always someone who is perceived as the other. But what is considered as normal usually says a lot about who we are and I am very interested in that clash. It can be about trans people, like in my film, but it can also be about women, as all these stories we have been telling for so many years have always revolved around men.

“ It’s something everyone can recognise: feeling normal, and then suddenly becoming the talk of the town because you broke the unspoken rules. We all try to be normal to some extent, especially when we are young. And then we have to ask ourselves who we really are, and finally embark on that journey. In this film, it’s the journey of Emma, but also of her father, Agnete, as they need to accept that they went from being just like everyone else to being themselves.”

A Perfectly Normal Family is a film which offers different perspectives, leading to an appreciation that children can love a parent and respect their decision, while still suffering from the fallout of that choice.

In cinemas and streaming on Curzon Home Cinema

Images courtesy of Modern Films