A Voice of Her Own: Analysing the portrayal of transsexuality in Soldier's Girl
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This analysis is focused on the way the 2003 film Soldier’s Girl portrays transsexuality. Through a semiotic analysis of the characters, it exposes the oppositions that define both the characters and the relationships between them. Special attention is devoted to the goals of the characters and the attitudes towards gender and sexuality displayed by these individuals. Through Richard Dyer’s concept of stereotypes, it is analysed how exclusion mechanisms are employed to define the social groups in the film. When discussing the two primary locations, the analysis shows how these are strongly connected to the characters and support their opposing values, as well as the suggestion that they are living in two different worlds. Furthermore, it is discussed how the observations from the previous sections relate to the formal elements of the film, which include the camera distance and the pattern of shot and reverse shot. From this, it is concluded that most of the oppositions in the film are not simply binary, but reflect the complexity of the characters and the way they interact. Finally, it is argued that despite the death of the protagonist resulting from trans- and homophobic tendencies, Soldier’s Girl portrays transsexual identities in a positive light, by allowing the transsexual character to become multidimensional and evoke sympathy for her goals.