Film Analysis: The Danish Girl

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Lili Elbe’s true self can be captured in a painting but not in a mirror. This gap between these two positions is heartbreaking, and it’s in this space in which The Danish Girl takes us on a journey of transformation.
Thanks Chris for having me on your channel. Today, we will be exploring the courageous journey of Lili Elbe, transgender Danish painter and one of the first-ever recipients of gender reassignment surgery.
David Ebershoff 's best-selling 2000 novel, The Danish Girl, is a fictional interpretation of Elbe 's own memoir, Man Into Woman. In following the later novel rather than the memoir, The Danish Girl is a dramatized and fictionalised film based on a dramatized and fictionalised novel. Historical accuracy is inevitably lost and
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Regardless, the film properly demonstrates how Lili’s emergence started. Gerda’s model failed to show and Einar was asked to pose in her place. He is unsure and hesitant at first but eventually gives into Gerda’s pleas. Dressed in stockings, heels and a dress, Einar caresses and is seduced by the fabrics of the garment. He becomes totally transfixed, mind, body and soul, with the idea of becoming a woman. As the film progresses, we slowly begin to see more of Lili and less of Einar. So much so that Gerda is reduced to tears and begs for her husband to return. He does not. Einar has been lost to his seductive new identity. Einar or rather Lili is portrayed as selfish and almost insensitive to his wife’s pain in the scene. However, in Lili’s memoir Man into Woman, she is much more sympathetic and feels guilty for not being able to please Gerda. This incorrect representation may not have been the director’s intent, because the audience starts to feel less for Lili and more for Gerda. Another unclear representation lies in Lili’s historic operation. The audience gets only the most superficial sense of Lili undergoing a process that is quite dangerous, or indeed physical, which is lost to the film’s aesthetic gloss. In reality, Lili Elbe was a pioneer and one of the first people to receive gender reassignment surgery. Excluding the element of danger and the fear of the unknown, undermines Lili’s intense bravery and determination. Despite the questionable historical accuracy, director Tom Hooper evokes sympathy towards Lili and represents her as a brave but slightly vain
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