Going through the whole mental and physical process of a sex change is one thing. Having second thoughts and some time later starting to plan a reversal is quite another. This documentary introducers two of these “regretters” to one another for a frank conversation on their experiences and how they view life – now and what it was like to be a woman. Mikael and Orlando, both in their 60s, recognize the difficulties in their lives, but also regard their circumstances with a jaded sense of humor. The fact that they have different outlooks brings nuance to their talks, which draw one in from the start. Private photos and home movies show the audience what their lives as women looked like. Fascinating – but one hour is cutting it a bit short.
2010-Sweden. 58 min. Color. Produced by Kristina Åberg. Directed by Marcus Lindéen. Featuring Orlando Fagin, Mikael Johansson.
Trivia: Original title: Ångrarna. Mikael and Orlando’s story was originally turned into a play, which was subsequently filmed for TV.
Last word: “This film isn’t about facts, it is about people trying to understand who they are and reflecting on their lives. Of course, the custom with documentaries is that you’re not supposed to pay people who appear on camera because that might interfere with the authenticity. But I don’t believe in documentaries as being objective. I believe all storytelling is constructed, so I would rather be there manipulating it to be true to what I, as a filmmaker, want to give my audience. Also I had to direct them a lot, otherwise it would have been dreadful and unbearable to watch it. I mean, you can’t expect two untrained people to be the best interviewers of each other on camera. I had to help them a lot.” (Lindéen, The Documentary Blog)