Slamdance 2023: “Our Males and Females”

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Middle East is the most dangerous place for transgenders. Once one decides to make the life-changing decision, there is a great risk for not only friends or neighbors to turn against, even the closest family members. In short, that person is left in society unrecognized and rejected.

The transgender girl loses her life to an unspecified cause. The body is returned to her parents in Jordan. As per tradition, before she gets buried, she must be washed first. But how to find the washer when they refuse to perform their duty because they assume they will be washing a young man? Both the father and the mother argue and do not know how to find the perfect solution to get their child a dignified ceremony. When there is no option left, and dusk is fast approaching, the father makes the decision to do what he felt was appropriate in that moment.

It’s a heartbreaking story all around. It’s indeed hard to live in a society that rejects you for being transgender. When the person is alive and still getting condemned, what happens if that person dies? It’s a thought-provoking story that you really have to think about what we do to ensure stories like this (which I am sure has happened a lot in a real life) won’t happen again. Even though the story is not based on true events, it is inspired by one, which helps this short to deliver an even stronger statement.

Writers Ahmad Alyaseer and Rana Alyaseer provide an insight into the parental struggle in a place that shows zero respect to those who they label as different. Director Ahmad Alyaseer delivers an outstanding job by showcasing the cultural differences that are really not far from the western world. What is being captured in this poignant film occurs around the world. In one country, they speak openly about transgenders, while in an advanced society, some reject them silently. Either way, we have an opportunity to look into the issue of transgender not being treated equally from different angles. And what is shown in “Our Males and Females” is one of the drastic ones but important as well.

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