CHAPPED LIPS / Les lèvres gercées

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In a kitchen, a mother and a child struggle to establish a dialogue. This short animation deals with transgender issues in terms of how they affect one person in one situation, but more generally, of course, the one experience here is far from unique; what I mean is more that it looks at it on a personal level, not politics, or with lots of debate over trans people in sports, what bathroom can be used or anything like that – and instead looks at the person.

Fabien CORRE


This person is a teenage boy who fails to talk to his parents; his father is never in the film as he is working late one presumes, and the mother is busy and distracted at best – and sees her sons situation as an inconvenience to her at worst. It is these series of small moments that lead to the final moment, which finally impacts the mother, and this moment in the film is better for the way it is built to.

By seeing the reaction of the mother, her inability to see something is wrong, it is easy to see her side because I think many people would be there at least to some degree – at very least it would be ‘normal’ to be so busy that there is not a natural space for a child to coax their way to broach such a topic. Likewise, while not a reaction I’d hope to find in myself – I can at least recognize the frustration at a child “playing up” and how that frustration would take pole position ahead of a thoughtful attempt to understand a teenager’s actions. At the same time, the film lets us see the teen’s struggles well – so we carry both into that final moment; a final moment which is impacting for its simplicity and lack of melodrama and fireworks. Well worth seeing for its delicate simplicity.