A documentary by Anne Ballon
ROOS is a fourteen-year-old girl who lives with her mother and her older transgender sister JULES. Jules is in full transition, taking hormones and experimenting with clothes. Roos sees that Jules is learning to be herself and this makes her happy. On the other hand, Roos struggles with being “different” from her sister. She sees Jules transforming more and more extensively: make-up, handbags, long hair,... Roos, who is rather tough, gets annoyed by Jules’ vain and egocentric behaviour during this transition. It is difficult for Roos to find her place in the family during this intense period struggling with all the attention that goes to Jules. The strong bond between the two of them becomes more fragile when Roos gets more jealous while Jules is discovering her independence and individuality, being unable to sympathize with Roos. And when things are not easy at home, Roos finds her own refuges: either among her friends or in her own fantasy. As a viewer we step into her imaginative world, pervaded by her own thoughts and drawings, which help her to cope with everything around. Until the day that Jules is leaving the house, and this new change makes her rethink everything. Little by little Roos begins to miss and accept her new sister and shows herself open to rebuilding the beautiful and strong bond between both of them.
When talking about transgender subjects, the focus is often on the understanding of a transgender person themself. However, this transition also has implications for the people close to them. For the family and friends around, the safe status quo is disrupted. The challenge of getting used to such an irreversible choice is big, especially in the case of a young teenager, whose identity is in full development. By depicting the world of Roos I try to depict how this change can be some- times upsetting, sometimes confusing.
Jules’ transition makes Roos feel lost and isolated but unexpectedly she deals with her feelings in a strong and creative way which is built, in the film, as an important and recognizable fact for her, as a kid, as a sister, as a person. Overall, the idea is that young audiences find ways to cope with external changes and will find hope and comfort in this film, seeing that it is not always easy elsewhere either, but that the sun always shines behind the clouds. Roos involves the viewer very closely in her personal story with the perfect dose of naivety and humor. Along with the young viewer, she takes the challenge of finding her place within the family again and learns that life is not black on white. We tried to create a stimulating approach towards changes and the otherness for the main target group (12-16 years). In this period, it is crucial to empower and stimulate children positively, something that Roos can help them with.
Regisseur: Anne Ballon
DOP: Jordan Vanschel
Montage: Jan De Coster
Muziek: Vita Pauwels
Geluidsmontage: Gedeon Depauw
Mixage: Gedeon Depauw
Productieleider: Tarsila Nakamura
Producenten: Frederik Nicolai