Alex Blaze

A non-review of Ma Double Vie

Filed By Alex Blaze | April 16, 2009 10:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment
Tags: France, kids, lesbians, lesbophobia, paris, sex, switzerland, teen

Last affiche_mdv1.jpgnight I went to see the opening of the gay and lesbian theater festival here in Paris. Ma Double Vie (My Double Life) was a free play put on by a group of Swiss high school students that'll be showing tomorrow night at 7:30, if you're in the Paris area.

The play itself was about a group of girls who go off to an all-girls Judo summer camp (happily located next to an all-boys astronomy camp), where Tania falls in love with another girl and experiences both lesbian love and lesbophobia for the first time.

It was fun and had a real Facts of Life feel to it... except during the song and dance numbers that I don't think I would have seen back when I was in high school, with drag and some same-sex on-stage affection. Not to get too caught up in what really should be a minor point in this production, but I must say, it was a bit shocking.

Then again, I went to high school... some time ago and it was in Carmel, Indiana, not Geneva, Switzerland, plus most after-school activities (including this theater troop) in lots of European countries aren't associated with schools, thus affording them more freedom of expression.

Still, I wonder what my high school would have been like if they put something like that. The text covered a lot of territory and was complete with homophobic and misogynist villains, a Judo instructor who needed to be educated by her students about lesbian issues, and a teenage same-sex love story. It's interesting as viewed by someone who grew up in a town where the response to teen sexuality was for adults to stick their fingers in their ears and sing.

Also, I found out that "un cube" (a cube) is a slur for butch lesbians in French Switzerland. Go figure.

The acting was pretty good for high school, and it was really well put-together for students of their age. An all-around good time.


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An all-girls judo summer camp? Where was this when I was a kid? (In point of fact, I've done taekwondo, not judo, but still...close enough.) Can't wait for the U.S. film version. Oh, wait...then they'd change it to a cheerleading summer camp and have the girl fall in love with the boy next door at the football camp. Sigh.

Brynn Craffey Brynn Craffey | April 16, 2009 11:02 PM

Alex, as I've said here before, I was blown away by the honesty exhibited by Irish adults when it came to the sexuality of teenagers--LGBT and straight. While ignorance and homophobia definitely exist in Dublin, what I didn't see was the stupifying denial that is so widespread here on the part of adults who plug their ears and go "Na-na-na-na-nah!!" when the subject of sex and teens arises. As well, discussing the idea that kids could be LGB or T was not taboo because it wasn't considered "a choice," or the result of "recruitment," but rather an innate, natural part of who they were.