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FROM THIS DAY FORWARD (#HotDocs15 Review)

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FROM THIS DAY FORWARD

Directed by Sharon Shattuck

Documentary filmmaker, Sharon Shattuck, was only in the third grade when she discovered that her father was transgendered. It wasn’t something she was able to process at the time. As an adult, she has decided to go back and ask the questions she was either too afraid to ask at the time or just didn’t know how to ask at that age. FROM THIS DAY FORWARD is a film that celebrates the truth and knows love when it sees it, even if it doesn’t look the way you think it should.

Shattuck’s parents announced they would divorce when she was a teenager but couldn’t go through with it because it was just too painful for them to be apart from each other. It was around this point when Shattuck’s father started moving away from simply dressing as a woman in the privacy of her own home and started taking estrogen supplements, getting plastic surgery and electrolysis to start looking more like a woman instead of just dressing like one. It was at this point that she changed her name to Trisha.

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Shattuck has one sister. The two share many conversations throughout the film about what is was like to grow up with a father like Trisha. On the one hand, she was incredibly supportive, dedicated and involved in her children’s lives. On the other hand, the sisters were embarrassed by their father. How do you explain this family dynamic to other kids when you yourself don’t even fully understand it? To some extent, their conversations in this film seem to reveal that some of what they struggled with then still lingers today.

The father daughter relationship can be one of great richness and influence. It can go horribly wrong but when it works, it can become an unbreakable bond. FROM THIS DAY FORWARD is a beautiful testament to how that bond can transcend gender through understanding, patience and love.

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FROM THIS DAY FORWARD will have its International Premiere at the HotDocs Canadian International Documentary Festival as part of the World Showcase program. It will be preceded by the short film, MY GAL, ROSEMARIE, directed by Jason Tippet.

Screening Schedule …

Monday, April 27, 9:45 PM, Scotiabank Theatre

Wednesday, April 29, 1:45 PM, TIFF Bell Lightbox

Sunday, May 3, 9:15 PM, TIFF Bell Lightbox

For more information and for tickets, please visit hotdocs.ca.

Your turn!

How many sheep would you give From This Day Forward?

One Comment

  1. We saw FROM THIS DAY FORWARD at the Traverse City Film Festival in August. It is indeed, as has been said, an unconventional love story, so warm, funny, and moving that it got a standing ovation at the Saturday morning showing. The film reflects how worthwhile the efforts that go into a successful marriage, traditional or unconventional, and understanding differences among us can be. When we left the theatre, a gentleman I had never met smiled at me and said, “I want to live in that world.” Me too.

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