Lukas has just turned twenty. He’s going through hormone replacement therapy induced male puberty, because he was born a girl. Ready for action, he launches into his new life in the big city, but things don’t exactly get off to a good start: on his arrival he finds he has been assigned to live not in a hostel for young men doing community service but in a nurses’ hostel where he is the only boy. While everyone else is merely somewhat disconcerted, Lukas’ daily life is nothing but stress. For him, being transgender means constantly being put into false categories. Thank goodness for his best friend Ine, who is prepared to stick up for him and protect him. Ine scoops him up into her life of wild partying and Lukas suddenly finds himself with a new circle of friends. He even experiences his first flirt – with grittily attractive Fabio – who exudes masculinity through every pore and embodies the kind of overweening self-confidence that Lukas lacks. But how do you tell someone to whom manliness is so important that you’re transsexual? The boys’ initial attraction for each other begins to develop into something more – until Fabio uncovers Lukas’ secret about his gender identity. Now it’s up to them to decide if they’re prepared to take a risk for the sake of their feelings.
Sabine Bernardi: “Transgender has really changed my view of identity and so in ROMEOS I wanted to tell a story about a young person’s courage to live the way they feel is right for them. On an emotional level, I was less interested in their inner turmoil than I was in finding out what they need in order to live happily. In this way, ROMEOS is a love story, at times funny and a bit cheeky, but the attitude was always that your gender identity is your own business.”
Germany 2011, 94 min
Liv Lisa Fries
Media Luna New Films
© Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin