This is Not Me
- Director: Saeed Gholipour
- Producer: Saeed Gholipour
Roll on the day, when documentaries like this one, will cease to be made...
No matter where you are in the world, transition is a process...a process that is designed to safeguard the health and well-being of the person seeking to transition. Shervin and Samar have been served misinformation regarding the process as it is in the West.
By opening the film with a rather fractious lecture, sets the tone of the film from the off. Two people, seeking transition, divided by age and maturity, unified in nationality and Iran's - not as harsh as you would expect - trans policy and procedure - which really is a bit of a Catch 22, which, unfortunately, the filmmaker decides not to explore. An avenue that would have rendered this film far more interesting than it is.
Instead, two individuals demanding to transition - asap - without any regard or respect for the due process - that's really about it...oh, one practically bankrupts their family in doing so.
Let's just say...it is not a film you would want to watch again!
Iran is the only country in the region to recognise trans people (any other LGBQ+ identity is banned). Both Shervin and Samar offer a glimpse into what life is like for trans youth, who despite loving and supportive parents are forced to live covert lives, shy away from their neighbours and even consider emigration, in order to be who they truly are. One of the many heartrending scenes in this documentary features one of the boys, fully clothed on the beach and yearning to go swimming, while the other shouts at his parents, asking whether his father is also forced to wear a headscarf. This is Not Me is a detailed depiction of the legal and social labyrinth that promises a slim aperture of freedom.