| 03.20.2018

Issues meet art – The Kenworthy”s upcoming film, “The Danish Girl,” explores themes of life and love


There is a general hype about most movies that come out of Hollywood. There is more for some than others, however, and “The Danish Girl,” is garnering this heightened attention.

The critically acclaimed biographical drama, which was limited in its U.S. release in November 2015, was inspired by the true story of Lili Elbe, who underwent the first sex-reassignment surgery.

Will Meyer | Rawr The Kenworthy Performing Arts Centre will show

Will Meyer | Rawr
The Kenworthy Performing Arts Centre will show “The Danish Girl” over the course of Valentine”s Day weekend.

The film”s foundation of truth and its portrayal of a relevant societal issue are among the reasons why the Kenworthy Performing Arts Centre decided to bring “The Danish Girl” to Moscow for Valentine”s Day weekend, said Kenworthy Operations Director   Jamie Hill.

“It”s a true story, and I think it is always important to show those true stories, especially on something that”s a major topic in our country right now,” Hill said.

The film, which includes cast members like Eddie Redmayne and Alisha Vikander,   played at both the Venice and Toronto International Film Festivals, but hasn”t been widely available to the public.

Hill said in addition to wanting to show a film that addresses pertinent social issues, another goal of the Kenworthy”s film selection committee is to expose the public to lesser-known films.

“A lot of the stuff that we bring in has a tendency to be more art house/independent (type) films,” Hill said.

Hill said many committee members requested that the film be shown at the Kenworthy, and they”re not the only ones who are eager to watch “The Danish Girl.”

University of Idaho student Jackie Hamblen said along with the subject and novelty of the movie, she is excited to see Eddie Redmayne”s performance.

“He is very talented at portraying other people, like in “The Theory of Everything,”” Hamblen said.

Hamblen said she”s happy this subject is something that can be shown to general audiences, which shows a shift toward more accepting and understanding viewers.

This particular movie is something that Julia Kehleher, program coordinator at the UI LGBTQA Office, sees as an example of a positive representation of transgender people.

“From the preview, it looks like it”s written to address a wide audience to really talk more about transgender identities, and really to show the general public more about it,” Keleher said.

Keleher said there”s something about movies like “The Danish Girl” – ones that explore the life of someone controversial from a normal standpoint – that encourages society”s acceptance of transgender people.

“It (also) helps with people who maybe identify as transgender, and they might be coming out,” Keleher said. “That really helps when people become comfortable with their identity in a more welcoming society.”

Kehleher said that the setting of the movie, which is in the early part of the twentieth century, may open eyes to the fact that there have always been people who have identified as transgender and that it”s not just a modern concept.

“There are a lot of people that are looking at it from the historical aspect, and talking about it,” Keleher said. “I think this will create a lot more buzz about it – it”s a film that people are going to see and people are going to talk about it.”

“The Danish Girl” will be screened at 8 p.m. Friday, 5 and 8 p.m. Saturday and at 4 and 7 p.m. Sunday at the Kenworthy Performing Arts Centre in downtown Moscow. The film is rated R and tickets are $6 for adults.

Will Meyer can be reached at  arg-arts@uidaho.edu

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