Going through sex-change surgery has never been a personal trial. Society has always felt the need to be a part of it; to let transgender persons know that they do not approve of them making the personal choice of changing their own body. Trans men and women not only deal with the emotional and physical changes they experience, but are the victims of unspeakable hate crimes – from harassment to homicide. In fact, Planet Transgender reports that a transgender person is killed every 29 hours.
Canada-based Sri Lankan Film maker Rasanga Weerasinghe, brings the harsh realities faced by trans people to the screen, creating awareness, in a chilling story of homicide.
Kamara is a trans woman who wants to take the next big step – to enter a relationship with a man even though she still lives with her girlfriend, Becky, who supported her throughout her transformation from a man to a woman. Becky is in love with Kamara, and while Kamara loves Becky as well, she feels it is time she proceeded with her new life a woman.
She meets Vincent on a dating website, and they agree to go on a date. Vincent, a tall, muscular, alpha male sort, appears to be homophobic and is portrayed as orthodox in his religious beliefs. The date goes well. Though Vincent is shy and awkward at the beginning he gradually warms up to Kamara who is bold and flirtatious.
While on their date the couple is confronted by two thugs, but Vincent lands a few punches and knocks them to the ground with little effort. A bit shaken by the encounter, Vincent and Kamara retreat to Vincent’s apartment.
A few beers later Kamara and Vincent make love, though Kamara appears uncertain or guilty (perhaps knowing that Becky would be hurt if she found out). Closely upon midnight Vincent drops Kamara home, and when he stops over at a gas station close by, the two gang members he encountered earlier appear from the dark and behind them a van pulls up and several other thugs spill out of the vehicle. They overpower Vincent asking him if he knew that his girlfriend was a man. Vincent is then hurled into the van, kicking and screaming, and is raped.
The next morning Vincent takes a pistol he has packed away in a drawer and heads over to Kamara’s apartment. Meanwhile, Kamara and Becky argue about their relationship. Kamara tells Becky that she needs to come to terms with the fact that she is no longer a man and she would like to proceed with her life as a woman before storming out for her morning jog.
Kamara walks into Vincent who is at the door when she returns. Vincent yells at her and pulls out his pistol but misses Kamara as she makes a quick escape. Becky hears the gun shot and runs out after them.
After a long chase scene in a secluded park Vincent finds Kamara. She tries to talk him out of killing her but Vincent shoots her in the head, and then shoots himself, just as Becky turns up.
The story was written and produced by Rasanga who has produced three other indie movies, Paranoia (2013), When Time Ticks (2012) and Valentine Crush(ed)! (2009), as well as the documentaries Trigger Happy (2014) and Angam: The Art of War (2011).
An Imperfection is clearly a Guerrilla film – a film shot on a low budget, with a skeleton crew, with characteristically short scenes – as his other movies; which in itself gives the movie an interesting feel.
The storyline was good. The fact that Kamara is a trans woman isn’t revealed till about the third quarter of the movie, so there’s a buildup in curiosity. Some of the camera angles and scenes shot were also done artistically and creatively.
The movie gets a plus point for its soundtracks, by Streetlight Mist – a local music group. The compositions complemented the scenes well, intensifying the emotions felt.
What could have been improved was the script. The lines were a bit cringe-inducing. While the script could have been better throughout the movie, we felt it really let the movie down during the last scene. Kamara’s attempt at getting Vincent to put away the pistol seemed weak.
Given that it is an indie movie, we didn’t expect too much of the acting. And true enough, it was alright. Each actor seemed to display relatively good acting skills in some scenes and in other scenes their performance faltered, but this comes down to direction. If the actors display good acting ability in some scenes they are clearly talented, so it’s up the director to bring out their best in every scene.
What really shocked us at the end was the statistic of a transgender person being killed every 29 hours. Little is spoken about the subject and we, the general public, are not fully aware of the atrocities faced by transgender people.
You can watch the trailer here though it doesn’t reveal too much about the movie. For now, the online article we posted earlier shows you how real the problem is for transgender people. If you scroll to the bottom, you will find a gallery of Facebook posts about brutal murders and suicides of transgender people. It gives the statistics a face, a personality, and a story.