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:: 52 Tuesdays

Filmed amidst grubby-chic suburban Adelaide interiors, 52 Tuesdays is a fictional story following a teenage girl’s struggle to adjust as her mother embarks upon a female-to-male gender transition. The title also alludes to the film’s production history, shot chronologically on each Tuesday between August 2011 to August 2012, with director and co-writer Sophie Hyde giving her cast members their scripts a week at a time in preparation for the following Tuesday’s shooting schedule. Hyde’s structurally adventurous directorial debut also contains a cast of mostly non-professional actors and has won awards at both the Berlin and Sundance Film Festivals.

The film’s central character is Billie (Tilda Cobham-Hervey) who whilst living with her father, Tom (Beau Travis Williams) goes to visit her mother Jane (Del Herbert-Jane) only on Tuesday afternoons, as Jane undergoes her medical treatment. However, Tuesday evenings become a time where Billie establishes her own special agenda, meeting with two of her older school friends and filming their raw, honest responses and displays to her probing, personal line of questioning. Billie’s actions reveal her attempts to understand her own place in the world, being the daughter of a woman who wants and needs to be a man in order to live an authentic, real and happy life and she questions whether her very existence contributes to her mother’s discontent at being female. Billie seeks to emulate her mother’s own video diary and discovers that being authentic and truthful, especially on camera, can lead to wider complexities and hypocrisies, revealing a harsh lesson in the application of boundaries and the impractical, Utopian desire to have no secrets from anyone.

The film focuses on how the characters of Billie and Jane maintain their formerly close relationship whilst each undergoes a search for the truth contained within their own identities. The casting of mostly non-professional actors also brings a certain truth to how this story plays out, at times conveying a documentary, cinéma vérité feel.