Wild Side | 2005
Stephanie is a transsexual prostitute who plies her trade in Parisian discos, parks and hotel rooms. She lives with James, a thirty-year-old North African who also turns tricks. Together they manage to enjoy brief moments of happiness here and there when they go out dancing or spend time with her friends, many of whom are also transsexual. For Jamel, this is a welcome alternative to his dour home life in a bleak housing project, replete with a mother who doesn't accept his sexuality. One night Stephanie meets Mikhail, a down-on-his-luck Russian immigrant living illegally in France. Soon, Mikhail falls in love with Stephanie, and she ultimately makes a surprising decision to include both partners in her life. Summoned to her childhood home in the north of France by her dying mother Liliane, Stephanie (whose birth name was Pierre) tries to provide comfort to a woman who never really accepted her son's unconventional sexuality. She is joined by Mikhail and Jamel, who together with Stephanie form a nurturing web of comfort and support. While back at her childhood home, Stephanie gradually makes up with her mother after years of distance and silence. She also visits Nicolas, a friend she hasn't seen in seventeen years. It's clear that Pierre was Nicolas's childhood paramour, even though Nicolas is now happily married with two young children. But he is delighted to be reacquainted with the former Pierre, and his company provides a relief for Stephanie from Liliane's illness. Liliane finally dies in her sleep. Stephanie, with the help of Mikhail and Jamel, buries her mother and closes up the family home, destroying all of Liliane's possessions and family mementos. En route to Paris, the three lovers are shown entwined in the same train compartment, an alternative family of sorts. But they are headed for an uncertain future, living on the margins of a society that is still not comfortable with outcasts, others and this living in-between.