Documentary, 83 minutes *In French with English subtitles
Free and open to Columbia University Community only - RSVP with CUID required. RSVP HERE
From her earliest childhood in Algiers, Marie-Pierre only wants to wear dresses and stubbornly refuses to use the first name given to her at birth, Jean-Pierre. Marie-Pierre’s life takes a radical turn at age seventeen upon discovering a review about a transvestite cabaret on tour, "le Carrousel de Paris." In a few years, Marie-Pierre moves to Paris and becomes Bambi, a mythical figure of Parisian cabarets of the 1950s and 1960s; she performs by night, while teaching French in middle school by day. By gathering the shimmering testimony of one of France's first public transgender people on film, Sébastien Lifshitz pursues the work he started in Les Invisibles, and documents the fate of an outstanding personality.
Sébastien Lifshitz is an award-winning French screenwriter and director. Born in 1968, Lifshitz has navigated between fiction films (Come Undone, Wild Side and Going South) and documentaries, with a particular focus on identity quests, queer, gay and lesbian characters, as well as coming-of-age stories (Adolescentes, 2019). His work has received the most prestigious awards in France and has been featured in international film festivals in Cannes, Venice, and Berlin. In his life-long effort to document marginalized communities and sexualities, Lifshitz has collected an exceptional photographic archive that has been exhibited and published under the title Mauvais genre, to which the title of this film series pays tribute.
This event is featured as part of the film festival, Mauvais Genres: French Cinema Takes on Gender organized by the Columbia Maison Française and curated by Nora Philippe. Additional support is provided by Cultural Services of the French Embassy, Knapp Family Foundation, Paul LeClerc Centennial Fund, Columbia University Institute for Ideas and Imagination, Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities.