Petite fille

Little Girl
When she grows up, she will be a girl. This is something Sasha has dreamed of since childhood. Her family soon realises how serious she is. In addition to interviews with the parents, who acknowledge their daughter as such without hesitation, the film depicts the family’s tireless struggle against a hostile environment as well as their everyday lives. We see Sasha at play, practising ballet and during a visit to a therapist specialising in gender identities. At school, Sasha is not allowed to appear as a girl but must wear gender-specific boys’ clothes. Tenderly filmed images and close-ups of Sasha’s face create a gentle intimacy. Sometimes, it is as if she does not understand why everything is so complicated and why she cannot simply be what she is and wear what she wants. Two-time Teddy Award winner Sébastien Lifshitz paints the touching portrait of an eight-year-old who questions her gender and who, in doing so, provokes some disturbing reactions from a society still stuck in a biologically deterministic boy-girl way of thinking.
by Sébastien Lifshitz France 2020 French 85’ Colour World premiere | Documentary form


Written and Directed by Sébastien Lifshitz
Cinematography Paul Guilhaume
Editing Pauline Gaillard
Sound Design Kristian Eidnes Andersen
Sound Yolande Decarsin
Producer Muriel Meynard
Co-Producers Fabrice Puchault, Monica Hellström
Co-Production Arte France Issy-les-Moulineaux
Final Cut For Real Kopenhagen

Sébastien Lifshitz

Born in Paris, France in 1968, he studied history of art and worked in the world of contemporary art before turning to film. In 2000 he scored an international theatrical hit with his debut feature film, the coming out story Presque rien. His first feature-length documentary, La traversée, premiered in the Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes. His films have already screened three times in the Berlinale Panorama: in 2004, his feature film Wild Side won the Teddy Award; Plein sud screened in 2010 and his documentary, Bambi, in 2013.

Filmography (selection)

1994 Il faut que je l'aime; short film 1995 Claire Denis, la vagabonde; medium-length documentary 1998 Les corps ouverts (Open Bodies); medium-length film 2000 Presque rien (Come Undone) 2001 La traversée (The Crossing); documentary 2004 Wild Side; Panorama 2006 Les témoins; documentary 2008 Jour et nuit; short film 2009 Plein sud (Going South); Panorama 2012 Les invisibles (The Invisibles); documentary 2013 Bambi; documentary, Panorama 2016 Les vies de Thérèse (The Lives of Thérèse); documentary 2019 Adolescentes; documentary · Avenue de Lamballe; short film 2020 Petite fille (Little Girl); documentary, Panorama

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2020