My documentary project

24 May

Papara, Tahiti

Only one teaching day left before I quit education and enter the big bad world as a journalist. But before worrying about this daunting prospect, I have one last assignment to carry: the final MA project. 

On Sunday I’ll fly to Tahiti to self shoot a documentary about ladyboys. After I explained to someone the subject of my piece, two types of reactions generally ensue:

Reaction 1: stunned silence while trying to process what I said followed by “wait, what?”

Reaction 2: *laugh* “Are you serious? How did you come up with that idea?”

Those reactions reveal one thing: my project idea is perceived as random and quirky which actually pleases me. At least, it catches people’s attention and triggers curiosity. So hopefully, people will be tempted to watch it. 

I want to follow the lives of the ladyboys in Tahiti, find out what challenges they face and see how integrated they are in French Polynesian society.

When I went to Tahiti two years ago, I was surprised by their number, but mostly, I was amazed by people’s tolerance. A 16 years old is able to go to school wearing a dress or a skirt and nobody bats an eyelid.

But of course, it’s not that simple, otherwise there won’t be a story. The ladyboys in Tahiti seem well accepted but there is still a long way to go. Prostitution and unemployment are among the problems they have to deal with. Sometimes family rejects its effeminate teenager.

I am fully aware that the angle is a bit loose and the peg nonexistent but I will expand on that in another blog post. All I know is that I am fascinated by the subject and that I want to represent my characters with accuracy and fairness. I just hope I will have the ability to live up to my expectations.


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