“Little Girl” documentary charts a year in the life of a trans child

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The Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival is hosting an online screening of “Little Girl,” by the gay Jewish filmmaker Sébastian Lifshitz. This intimate documentary is a revealing portrait of Sasha, an eight-year-old who was born in a boy’s body, but says, “When I grow up, I’ll be a girl.” Sasha’s parents — her mother Karine especially — are strong advocates for her, and battle with her school principal and teachers to make sure Sasha is treated respectfully (and with her preferred pronouns) and able to dress as a girl. 

Lifshitz takes his time with his film’s subjects, sitting with them as Sasha plays with her supportive siblings, or a classmate. He also attending a meeting Sasha and Karine have with a kindly doctor who discusses issues of gender dysphoria. There are interviews with both Sasha’s mother and father, where they recount their attitudes about their child with candor and acceptance. Nevertheless, Karine, however encouraging, worries that Sasha will face a difficult future. 

“Little Girl” charts a year in Sasha’s life and the changes she (and her family) experience as she tries to live more authentically. Watching her mimic a young girl in her ballet class shows Sasha’s uneasiness, but seeing her become more confident, dancing in heels, and eventually putting on a two-piece swimsuit is rewarding. Lifshitz captures his subject well. 

“Little Girl” will be available for streaming for a 72-hour timeframe beginning Thursday, June 17, 7 PM EDT (until that Sunday, 7 PM EDT). For more info: https://pjff.org/event/little-girl/