BFI Flare Special Presentation

A Fantastic Woman

Una mujer fantástica

A transwoman’s quest for a little respect gives us one of 2017’s standout performances in this invigorating Chilean drama from Sebastián Lelio (Gloria).


Dir Sebastián Lelio
Prod Juan de Dios Larraín, Pablo Larraín, Sebastián Lelio, Gonzalo Maza
Scr Sebastián Lelio, Gonzalo Maza
With Daniela Vega, Francisco Reyes, Luis Gnecco, Aline Küppenheim, Nicolás Saavedra, Amparo Noguera
UK Distribution Curzon Artificial Eye

When her lover Orlando dies suddenly one night, Marina (Daniela Vega) is left in a state of shock. But nothing can prepare her for what follows. Still raw with grief, the singer and waitress must navigate the horrors of recounting the night to Orlando’s family, whose responses to the fact that she’s a transwoman range from frosty to scabrous and even hostile. It seems love and cohabitation count for little and Marina must fight for her rights, her home and even custody of her dog, while the police only offer a new set of humiliations. Director Sebastián Lelio’s Gloria (LFF2013) gave us the ultimate free-spirited 50-something woman. Now, working with filmmaker-producers Maren Ade (Toni Erdmann) and Pablo Larraín (Jackie), Lelio proves himself a successor to Almodóvar as an explorer of female-centred, emotionally intelligent terrain, which also celebrates the tender and downright sexy relationship that Marina and Orlando shared. Marina, thanks to Vega’s absolute knockout performance, is a vision of resistance: making her defiant way through the aftermath, battling transphobia and getting shit done. This avowedly queer provocation is essential arthouse cinema and likely to tear the roof off the LFF.

Kate Taylor

Additional information

The introduction/Q&A will be BSL interpreted at the screening on Fri 6 Oct.

Festival guests

These members of the filmmaking team are expected to attend the festival:

  • Daniela Vega, Cast

See the full list of visiting festival guests. Please note that we can't guarantee guest attendance at any particular screening.