Daring to Stick Out

Nanna Frank Møller’s "Let’s Be Together" is an identity story about a boy grappling for a foothold between genders and nationalities.

Let's Be Together foto Helle Moos

"Let's Be Together". Photo: Helle Moos

Hairon lives in an ordinary Danish subdivision in an ordinary provincial town. But there’s nothing ordinary about Hairon. We see that from the opening shot. Tough and vulnerable at once, the Danish-Brazilian boy stands before the bathroom mirror, draining a can of hairspray into his styled hairdo. His lips are bright with pink lip-gloss and he waves his long arms with feminine grace.

"Above all, the film is about being a teenager, facing resistance - and about the need to feel loved."

Hairon isn’t ordinary, that much is clear to himself and his surroundings. Never more so than the day his stepfather takes him fishing. Looking like a pretty odd bird, in his waders and fishing gear, Hairon pesters his dad for a pair of Dior sunglasses costing more than 250 euros. His dad smiles and says, ”There are times when I feel like you aren’t living in the real world.”

Hairon’s story has become a film, "Let’s Be Together". It all began when the Bastard Film production company asked Nanna Frank Møller to do a portrait of this Danish-Brazilian boy with a penchant for women’s clothing, and the director was soon fascinated by the unusual kid who dared to stick out. “Portraying someone this young, it’s important to find out why he wants to be in the film. He told me that he wanted people to know what it feels like to be him. Acknowledging the feelings inside of him takes courage, and I respected him for that,” Frank Møller says.

Deciding to build the film around a meeting of father and son, the director followed Hairon when he left for Brazil to be reunited with his biological father after a separation of nearly four years. “I had to find a filmic frame, and I was looking for a universal story that everybody could mirror themselves in,” Frank Møller says. “Hairon hadn’t seen his biological father since he was 11 years old, and I imagined there’d be a compelling story in their meeting.”

And right she was. In a low-key, discreet fashion the film tracks Hairon’s journey from his everyday life in Denmark to Vitória, Brazil, where his father is somewhat taken aback by his son, who no longer wants to be a boy and is exploring an ambiguous territory in between genders. As it turns out, his father, too, has a history of gender issues. After a dramatic argument between father and son, his father steps up as a strong, attentive figure who helps Hairon on the road to self-understanding.

The film is bursting with samba, drag costumes and fiery Brazilian outbursts of emotion – but behind all that, "Let’s Be Together", more than anything, is a universal story about going through a time in life that’s tough for everyone. Tougher, no doubt, for Hairon, struggling with issues of gender identity. As Frank Møller puts it, “Above all, the film is about being a teenager, facing resistance – and about the need to feel loved.”

Let's Be Together foto Helle MoosLet's Be Together. Photo: Helle Moos

Facts

NANNA FRANK MØLLER

Born 1972, Denmark. Graduate from the National Film School of Denmark, 1999. Has edited several films, mostly documentaries, among them "The Land of Human Beings - My Film about  Greenland" (2006). Her directorial debut Someone Like You (2007) won the Grand Prix for Best Danish Film at Odense. "Let’s Be Together" (2008): selected for Dox Awards competition at CPH:DOX. Her next project is one of the four films in "Cities on Speed" (see page 32).

BASTARD FILM

Founded 2000. Co-owned by producer Helle Faber and Søren Steen Jespersen (CEO ), Thomas Stokholm Vorf (producer) and Miki Mistrati (journalist). The company produces investigative TV and feature-length documentaries for the Danish and international market. International titles include: "The Red Gold" (Signe Mølgaard, 2004); "Enemies of Happiness" (Eva Mulvad, 2006), winner of IDFA’s Silver Wolf Award; "The World in Denmark" (Max Kestner, 2007), "Two Men – 12 Drawings" (Vibeke Heide-Jørgensen, 2007); "69" (Nikolaj Viborg, 2008); "Let’s Be Together" (Nanna Frank Møller, 2008), selected for competition CPH:DOX; and "Little Miss Grown-Up" (Anders Gustafsson & Patrik Book, 2008), selected for IDFA Kids & Docs. Films in progress: "Blekingegadebanden" and "Shanghai Space".

TEAM PRODUCTIONS

Founded 1999 by producer Mette Heide and director Michael Christoffersen. Produces national and in ternational documentaries to clients ranging from the Danish broadcasters and BBC to a wide range of European national broadcasters. Productions: Mette Heide from Team Productions was executive producer on the worldwide media event and documentary series "Why Democracy?" (2007), comprising ten one-hour films on the subject of contemporary democracy. Two company signature films are the extraordinary behind-the-scenes achievements "Milosevic on Trial" (2007) and "Saving Saddam" (2008). Short documentaries include "Little Grown-up" (Anders Gustafsson, 2008), chosen for Kids & Docs at IDFA, Amsterdam.

Contact

Danish Film Institute
Gothersgade 55
1123 Copenhagen K
Denmark
Tel. +45 3374 3400
Fax +45 3374 3401
dfi@dfi.dk

Det Danske Filminstitut

Danish Film Institute /
Det Danske Filminstitut

EAN-nr: 5798000794085
CVR-nr: 56858318

Gothersgade 55
1123 København K

Tel. +45 3374 3400
Fax +45 3374 3401
E-mail: dfi@dfi.dk

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