His tale of a vibrant trans teenager who refuses to be bowed down by any transphobia is like a breath of fresh air. Alice Junior is a successful You Tuber (played by the blogger Anne Celestino Mota) who lives with her father (Emmanuel Rosset) a perfumier in Recife a exotic bustling city. But then one day he comes home to tell as a result of a work commission they will be moving down South temporarily.
It’s not just to a remote country town, but also the only school available is a fiercely conservative Catholic Academy. The Principal insists on misgendering Alice, calling her by her birth name, and making her wear a boys uniform. We know that life will have to get worse before it gets better, and it does but it is not before long Alice has turned initially hostile classmates into close friends. The fact that she was the only one to stand uo the school bully and actually broke his nose when he picked on a timid gay boy, made her a heroine.
The story tackles all the cliched problems such as which-bathroom with dignity but also with a great deal of humor which will really help get the message across to the young and curious audience that this movie is clearly aimed at.
With its liberal use of animation and flashing graphics Baroni gives the whole movie the look and feel of the best of YouTube. And it works so well without distracting from the main crux of the story or from the underlying levity of anti-trans behaviour.
Full credit to Mota for a compelling pitch perfect performance as Alice, The camera totally loved her … as we did too ….and we cannot wait to see what she will do next.
It was no surprise to discover that all’s well that ends well with such a breezy story,. We don’t want to give any spoilers other to say that what Alice really wanted all along was someone to give her first kiss, but first, she just wanted to be who she really is.
Alice Junior is not only a wee gem, but it should be compulsory viewing in all High Schools.
(PS Alice Junior is streaming online via https://www.frameline.org/festival)