15 user 27 critic

Wild Side (2004)

Not Rated | | Drama, Romance | 14 April 2004 (France)
A transgender woman who survives prostituting herself in Paris, returns - with her two male lovers in tow - to her family home in the countryside to look after her dying mother.

On Disc

at Amazon

6 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »


Learn more

More Like This 

Documentary | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Several elderly homosexual men and women speak frankly about their pioneering lives, their fearless decision to live openly in France at a time when society rejected them.

Director: Sébastien Lifshitz
Stars: Bernard, Catherine, Christian
Come Undone (2000)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Mathieu, 18, spends the summer at his mother's summer house, in Brittany. On the beach, he meets Cédric, a boy his age. A love-story begins between the two boys.

Director: Sébastien Lifshitz
Stars: Jérémie Elkaïm, Stéphane Rideau, Marie Matheron
A Soap (2006)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A tragicomedy focused on the relationship between the owner of a beauty clinic and a transgender woman.

Director: Pernille Fischer Christensen
Stars: Trine Dyrholm, David Dencik, Frank Thiel
Wild Side (1995)
Action | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

While Bruno is an international money mover and influence peddler and Virginia is his very beautiful wife, his sexual appetite requires the services of banker and part-time hooker Alex. It's love at first sight. But, who are the lovers?

Director: Donald Cammell
Stars: Christopher Walken, Joan Chen, Steven Bauer
Soldier's Girl (TV Movie 2003)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The true story of the price a young soldier paid for falling in love with a transsexual night-club performer.

Director: Frank Pierson
Stars: Troy Garity, Lee Pace, Andre Braugher
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Ludovic is a transgender girl who is coming out. She talks of marrying her neighbor's son and can not understand why everyone is so surprised about it. Her family and neighbors struggle ... See full summary »

Director: Alain Berliner
Stars: Georges Du Fresne, Michèle Laroque, Jean-Philippe Écoffey
Bambi (2013)
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The film is a profile of Marie-Pierre Pruvot, an Algerian, born trans woman who had a long and prominent career as a dancer and showgirl in Paris in the 1950s and 1960s, under the stage name Bambi.

Director: Sébastien Lifshitz
Stars: Bambi
Plein sud (2009)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

In the summer, 27 year-old Sam drives towards the south of France in his Ford. He meets Matthieu and his sister Léa and takes them along in his apparently aimless journey. Matthieu has a ... See full summary »

Director: Sébastien Lifshitz
Stars: Yannick Renier, Léa Seydoux, Nicole Garcia
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Lille, France. The affairs between a young couple living a tense period of their relationship, and a long term friend of theirs who cannot decide which one she likes the most.

Director: Jérôme Bonnell
Stars: Anaïs Demoustier, Félix Moati, Sophie Verbeeck
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Director: Sébastien Lifshitz
Stars: Yasmine Belmadi, Pierre-Loup Rajot, Margot Abascal
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Two best friends Shane and Jonathan learn more about themselves in an ever evolving sexuality.

Director: Leste Chen
Stars: Hsiao-chuan Chang, Ray Chang, Kate Yeung
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Thérèse Clerc is one of the great figures of militantism. From the struggle to legalize abortion to the fight for equal rights of men and women and the battle for gay rights, she's been on ... See full summary »

Director: Sébastien Lifshitz
Stars: Thérèse Clerc


Cast overview, first billed only:
Stéphanie Michelini ... Stéphanie
Yasmine Belmadi Yasmine Belmadi ... Djamel
Edouard Nikitine Edouard Nikitine ... Mikhail
Josiane Stoléru Josiane Stoléru ... La mère
Corentin Carinos Corentin Carinos ... Le petit Pierre
Perrine Stevenard Perrine Stevenard ... Caroline
Benoît Verhaert Benoît Verhaert ... Le père de Pierre
Fabrice Rodriguez Fabrice Rodriguez ... Le client de la boîte
Amine Adjina Amine Adjina ... Le frère de Djamel
Christophe Sermet Christophe Sermet ... Nicolas
Loïc Pichon Loïc Pichon ... Le paysan
Veronika Pereverzeva Veronika Pereverzeva ... La mère de Mikhail
Antony Hegarty ... Le chanteur du café
Gilles Forgeas Gilles Forgeas ... Premier client du bois
Pierre Nahori Pierre Nahori ... Second client du bois


In Paris, the thirty-two years old travesty Stéphanie a.k.a. Pierre is a streetwalker that lives with the Egyptian gay hustler Djamel and the Russian gay Mikhail that works in a restaurant. When the hospital where her mother Liliane is terminal calls her, she travels with her two lovers to the countryside to look after her dying mother. While at home, she recalls her childhood and how she met Djamel and Mikhail. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance


Not Rated | See all certifications »


Official Sites:

Official site


France | Belgium | UK


English | Russian | French

Release Date:

14 April 2004 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Agria plevra See more »

Filming Locations:

Paris, France


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,268, 12 June 2005, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$15,355, 11 September 2005
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


I Fell In Love With A Dead Boy
(Film Version)
Arranged By [Cordes] Jocelyn Pook
Composed By, Lyrics By Antony Hegarty (as Antony)
Vocals by Antony Hegarty
(p) 2004 Antony
© 2004 Naïve
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A powerful yet confused film about human connection
15 February 2008 | by anyajzbSee all my reviews

Wild Side is an often moving, sometimes heartbreaking French film about a trio of friends centered around the life of pre-op transwoman Stéphanie. She is a sexworker in Paris (I think these scenes were filmed in the Bois de Boulogne, where a large contingent of mostly foreign-born transwomen sexworkers do their trade). She comes back into the life of her taciturn mother, a woman who lost a husband and a daughter and had previously decided to break contact with Stephanie after she transitioned. Now, as the only available caretaker, Stephanie is responsible for the mom, and brings her back to their rundown hometown in the North of France. Along the way, we meet Mikhail, a bi or possibly gay illegal Russian immigrant who is involved with Stephanie and Djamel, an Algerian male prostitute from the dumpy highrise projects north of Paris. How they all met is never really explained and not so important... the story is really about their various regrets and how they feel about this trio (not really a manage á trois since they aren't into group sex).

The spine of the film is the powerful performance and screen presence of Stephanie Michelini as Stephanie. While not a trained actress (this was her first acting job) she brings a quiet longing to the role and never has a false moment. She's female at the core of her soul, often very pretty framed by her beautiful ringlets of hair, even when the camera lingers on some of her face's hard edges. Matching her is Edouard Nikitine as Mikhail, giving a powerful, sad performance with dark, sometimes dead eyes. The two have a silent bathtub scene which is loving and erotic at the same time. Unfortunately, Djamel, the gay prostitute, doesn't add much to the mix. Yasmine Beimadi (a professional actor) gives him a bravado and almost Jimmy Cagney pugnaciousness. But why he's in this trio and what he brings to it doesn't seem altogether believable. Perhaps it was to bring out a conflict in Mikhail about being gay... as if his relationship with Stephanie is his last attempt to hang on to woman.

In my experience, such men never have relationships with transwomen and, as with all her customers, mostly very straight-identified men are into pre-op transwomen. I felt Sebastien Lifshitz (who is gay) tried to weld two very different stories together than don't altogether fit. As I watched Wild Side, I kept hoping for more about Stephanie and Mikhail and that a totally separate film had been made about Djamel. Another wonderful performance is given by Josiane Stoleru as Stephanie's sick mother. The scenes between mother and daughter are altogether tender and loving, even when laced with the mother's intense guilt and total disregard for Stephanie as a woman although she relishes her daughter's caretaking of her.

The cinematography in Wild Side (by Agnes Godard) is stunning and Lifshitz is wonderful at using low key sound and silence to add focus and give the film a elegiac tone. Special mention has to be made of one of the scenes opening sequences of roomful of transwomen being dolefully serenaded by genderqueer singer Antony Hegarty (who fronts his own band in NYC). The women in the room form a kind of chorus of trans beauty, pain, solidarity and regrets that is stunning. The song Hegarty sings is mourning the lose of a dead boy (in this care, perhaps, the 'boy' each of his audience members has lost as they transitioned?) It's a beautiful scene but, again, very much a gay man's take on what being a transwoman is. He focuses on the 'super femme gay male' aspects which is reinforced by the 'required' penis shot of Stephanies' body just before song scene.

Also, I found this film's quiet beauty also marred by having Stephanie be involved in sex work and the graphic scenes this entails (focusing on the hypocrisy of her straight clients). Unfortunately, even most gay men have a view of this as being what transwomen's lives are all about (even though Stephanie obviously wants to get out of it). As sensitive as Lifshitz is, he often stoops to an objectification of her that, while beautifully packaged and with a social/political undertone, sends much of the same message as many far more exploitive films.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 15 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed