In the 1970s, a young trans woman, Patrick "Kitten" Braden, comes of age by leaving her Irish town for London, in part to look for her mother and in part because her gender identity is beyond the town's understanding.
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Neil Jordan's historical biopic of Irish revolutionary Michael Collins, the man who led a guerrilla war against the UK, helped negotiate the creation of the Irish Free State, and led the National Army during the Irish Civil War.
A young transwoman, Patrick "Kitten" Braden, comes of age in the 1970s. She leaves her Irish town, in part to look for her mother and in part because her transgender nature is beyond the town's understanding. She's taken in by a rock band, falls for the lead singer, has brushes with the IRA, is arrested by the London police, works in a peep show, and poses as a survey researcher for the phone company. Throughout, her nationality and her nature put her at great risk. In her search for her mother, she makes surprising discoveries of friendship and family. But, will she survive? Written by
This film is about a transvestite on one level, but it is also a lot more: it's about, belonging, being, loving and being loved. What could have been a one-dimensional caricature becomes a three dimensional movie in the hands of a good director like Neil Jordan, and actors such as Liam Neeson, Stephen Rea, and Cillian Murphy (who is magnificent).
Cillian Murphy imbues Patrick "Kitten" with growing dignity as he/she matures through the film, and at the end she has become a self-assured woman, who has 'found' family, her mother and father, and a meaning in life.
The film does not shy away from the Irish-English conflict, either, and the prejudice directed against "Paddy" is appalling, reminiscent of "In the Name of the Father." It is not for the faint-hearted, be aware! Costumes and music of the late 60's / early 70's are both equally impressive. There is an excellent soundtrack.
In all, I found the film quirky and uplifting; a friend with me pronounced it "depressing". Whatever, it needs to be seen and Provo's an interesting view of the times in which the story is set. Judge for ourself.
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