Eye For Film >> Movies >> Roxanne (2016) Film Review
Reviewed by: Jane Fae
Notwithstanding its trappings of trans whoredom, Roxanne is basically a fairy story and morality tale wrapped into one heart-warming short. It comes complete with lost girl, evil step-parent and fairy godmother, albeit in the unlikely form of a transgender sex worker.
Lily (Thea Lamb) is an 11-year-old girl who has been abandoned, for reasons unspecified, by her mother. Seeking shelter in a nearby building, Roxanne (Miss Cairo) initially throws her back out onto the street and then later intervenes when she spies two men attempting to take Lily away by force.
But, as the saying goes, “If you save a life, you are responsible for it”, and the remainder of the film is a deft working out of the relationship that takes root in Lily and Roxanne's mutual teasing – then blooms as Roxanne perceives Lily to be once more in danger. The dialogue is amusing, a study in smart banter, and well-delivered, and the relationship believable.
This is a film of contrasts. On the one hand, Roxanne's life of sleaze and danger, denoted by a driving music score and dark fragmented camerawork; on the other, their growing friendship that takes place for the most part in the full light of day.
The moral: there be monsters! And those who cannot rely on society to protect them, may yet find some refuge in solidarity with other outcasts.
Neatly done, although, if I have a criticism, it is in the film's use of a trope, a cliché all too common when dealing with trans issues, trans people – which is the trans sex worker, with a heart of gold. Because, sure, trans sex workers exist and, in a society that frequently fails to provide support, sex work is sometimes the only way to survive. But this is far from true for all – and it would be nice, sometimes, to see other alternatives explored. Still, a competent, positive short.Reviewed on: 16 Mar 2017