Thelma Reel Affirmations 13: Washington DC Gay and Lesbian Film Festival

Date: Sunday, 10/19/2003
Time: 8:00 pm

Venue: DCJCC
Tickets: $9

Type: Feature presentation
Language: French with English subtitles

Metro Weekly Rating: (4 out of 5)

by Will O'Bryan

ThelmaAS THE TITLE character, Pascale Ourbih fills the screen with personality, charm, and energy. And she manages to fill Switzerland, Italy and Crete with a bit of it, too.

Laurent Schilling, co-stars as Fluery, a retired boxer/divorced parent/cab driver, who finds himself in Thelma's employ. She needs to track down an ex-lover, and Fluery is just the driver to do it.

Avoiding much of the psychodrama of The Crying Game, Pierre-Alain Meier's drama presents a simple story with a transgender element that is not overshadowed by the war-torn troubles of Northern Ireland. The troubles in Thelma remain personal and reasonable. Like The Crying Game, however, Thelma enjoys a soundtrack that can stand alone on its own merits.

The film does stumble into its start, spending too much time establishing Fluery's relationship with his child and ex-wife as a means of foreshadowing Thelma's own skeletons. But once Fleury and Thelma hit the road, even their most minor conflicts may leave you gasping.

That's thanks largely to Ourbih, who makes a triumphant screen debut. She nearly forces a third dimension out of the two-dimensional medium. It will be a pity if more filmmakers don't make an effort to harness her talent.

More information

Film Links:
· Reel Affirmations details
· Internet Movie Database
· Official film site

Festival Venue:
Cecile Goldman Theater at the DCJCC
1529 16th Street, NW; Washington, DC 20009. (202) 518-9400. (map)
3 blocks east of Red Line Metro / Dupont Circle station.

You may buy your tickets or passes in advance: Online at or by phone at (800) 494-TIXS (494-8497). Or you may visit the Lincoln Theatre (1215 U Street, NW, WDC); the DCJCC (1529 16th Street, NW, WDC); Lambda Rising (1625 Connecticut Avenue, NW, WDC); or Universal Gear (1601 17th Street, NW, WDC).

For more info visit the official Reel Affirmations website.