Whistler Film Festival 2017: Venus


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      A feel-good film that admirably defies the conventions of white, straight, and cis-gendered Hollywood, Venus tells the tale of Sid (played dazzlingly by Debargo Sanyal), a transitioning woman whose life takes a surprising turn when Ralph (Jamie Mayers), the 14-year-old biological son she never knew she had, shows up unannounced at her door.

      What follows is a laugh-out-loud slice of life as Sid is forced to entertain the curious and very persistent teen while navigating fraught relationships with her traditional Punjabi parents (“I want my son back!” Sid’s mother cries in one especially emotional scene) and her closeted on-again, off-again boyfriend, Daniel (Pierre-Yves Cardinal).

      Heartwarming and an absolute delight to watch—with an infectious bilingual soundtrack, to boot—Venus also presents us with the hopeful notion that if a kid can embrace one’s gender identity (“My dad’s transgender. That is so cool,” remarks Ralph during one his first encounters with Sid), anyone can.

      Village 8, December 2 (8:30 p.m.) and 3 (6 p.m.)