Boys Don T Cry Film Analysis

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The film Boys Don’t Cry, directed by Kimberly Pierce, brought mainstream media attention to the life and tragic death of Brandon Teena in addition to an unveiling educational debate. “For the first time, audiences were introduced to a transgender character that was not branded as either killer, sexual predator, or deranged psychopath” (Rigney 2004). The fascination with the life and murder of Brandon within contemporary American culture classified the potential to operate as a force of interruption and disruption, suggesting a moment when a critical, potentially educated transgender movement might open up within mainstream culture. The media has a long history of depicting characters who transgress gender boundaries as comic, weak, or as…show more content…
The Silence of the Lambs is an excellent example of the way in which a transgender figure is othered and the heteronormative gender is reinforced and stabilized. In this film, the self-castrated killer murders and skins young women in order to stitch together a female body suit (Rigney). The motive of the killer is formed by the desire to possess and to become the unattainable, a biological woman. His anger derives from the deception that, he was born in the wrong body, cheating him out of what is rightfully his. In the case of The Silence of the Lambs, the film implies that biological sex is fixed at birth, that the desire to change one 's biological sex is rooted in abnormality and psychosis, and that the ultimate and unattainable wish to change one 's sex leads to both madness and murder. The Silence of the Lambs is just one example of a number of contemporary films that portray a male-to-female character. In contrast, female-to-male characters, prior to the release of…show more content…
He appears to embody a number of conflicting sexual and gender identities. Although female masculinity comes to the forefront in this film, female-to-male characters, prior to the release of Boys Don 't Cry, have gone largely unrecognized. Female masculinity poses a literal and symbolic threat to male masculinity. “The fear is not only that women will become more like men but, that men will become more like women” (Rigney 2004). Some argue that the film works to consider the transgressive potential of the gender establishment within a lesbian context, which reduces and eventually, annuls Brandon 's gender. Although Brandon finds himself in the position of having to say, “I can explain” to people, these scenes are also framed to focus attention toward Brandon’s confusion and frustration over why any explanation is necessary, why others cannot accept him for who he believes he is. In this way, the narratives encourage the recognition of Brandon’s own experiences of sexual identity and validate what he believes to be his true nature. The underlying message in all of the scenes in which Brandon must offer some explanation for his masculine identity is that the confusion surrounding his sexual identity does not reside in him, but in others, in the intolerance they feel toward those who violate normative heterosexuality. It is

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