Hot Docs 2014: Songs for Alexis Review

Songs for Alexis

Songs for Alexis

Made in Denmark

The romance at the heart of Elvira Lind’s Songs for Alexis might feature a teenage trans man and his girlfriend, but it’s appeal goes far beyond just being an LGBT-centred documentary. It’s such a painfully realistic look at how being a teenager in love can be one of the most painful and formative experiences for anyone regardless of gender or sexuality.

18 year old Long Island teen Ryan Cassada is a post-op transsexual emo pop troubadour that’s starting to make a name for himself. He’s madly in love with his girlfriend Alexis despite her living on the west coast. When a visit to San Francisco Pride for the biggest performance of his career turns heartbreaking and dangerous thanks to Alexis’ violently disapproving father, Ryan is forced to head home alone to find a solution to save his relationship.

Literally anyone who has been deeply in love at a young age will identify the emotions immediately: sometimes corny mushy eyes, paranoia over long distance relationships, the deep desire to fix things immediately and at any cost even if your instincts turn out to be wrong. Lind beautifully captures all of the joy, depression, and awkwardness of the situation without ever interjecting, letting the subjects tell the story in the moment and in their own words. It has the power to make viewers relive their most insecure, awkward moments of young love, and that’s meant as the highest of compliments. (Andrew Parker)

Screens

Wednesday, April 30th, TIFF Bell Lightbox 4, 9:45pm

Thursday, May 1st, Scotiabank 4, 8:30pm

Friday, May 2nd, Scotiabank 7, 7:00pm


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