Film: "Boys Don?t Cry" Essay by Peter Pen

Film: "Boys Don?t Cry"
This paper analyzes the film "Boys Don't Cry", directed by Kimberly Peirce, a true story about a transgender female who wants to live as a male.
# 63008 | 1,400 words | 6 sources | MLA | 2005
Published on Dec 18, 2005 in Film (Analysis, Criticism, Etc.) , Gender and Sexuality (Transgender)

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This paper explains that, in the film "Boys Don't Cry", Brandon Teena, played by actor Hillary Swank, born a female living in Lincoln, Nebraska, desires to fulfill the need to fit into her surroundings as a male without any interference or confrontation while living her transgender lifestyle; from the beginning of the film, this is no easy task. The author states that it is exhilarating to watch Brandon Teena prevail over traditional bedrock notions of femininity, to see him present himself not as a tomboy or "tranny", but as an 'ideal' heterosexual male. The paper reflects that the film proves that gender is performative, expresses male dominance as well as the power of the phallus and relates that the lifestyle of transgender individuals in rural mid-America is a dangerous one.

From the Paper:

"The location in which the movie had taken place seems to be that of everlasting suffering. It was clear by Lana Tisdel (played by Chloe Sevigny) that she hated the area in which she lived. Noting that she has a mother who is a drunk, and a violent and possibly abusive ex-boyfriend, it is no wonder why. Although at the time, Brandon's feelings about the same place are completely different, he mentions that he is from Graceland and offers Lana to join him someday. She gladly agrees and hopes they can run off together in the near future. Falls City Nebraska can be a signifier for hell. The name Falls has the connotation of being below or underground. Graceland has an opposing effect, sounding heavenly and free. Sadly, the only time the characters in the film have a remotely decent time is when they are intoxicated, driving, or both. Note that when they are driving, note that driving can be seen as an escape or not presently in Falls City."

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