‘Becoming Charlie’ series: Bitter, non-binary poor (nd-aktuell.de)


Charlie (Lea Drenda, left) and Jar Ronga (Sera Anna Val, right)

Photo: ZDF/Philip Jestädt

What delivery services do to cities, the climate, the environment, but above all to people enslaved by the capitalist system of exploitation, is already the subject of lively debate. But it can also be summed up in a small scene from a big series on the new broadcaster Neo: Since her bike was destroyed, the food carrier Charlie has been sitting still for a few hours — a few hours too much for her employer, which is visually reminiscent. from Lieferando and is so decadent on the inside that he finished Charlie by voicemail.

Please return your work clothes. Written notice follows. end of advertisement. End of worries? Unfortunately no. Because Charlie, 21, not only lives malnourished and without expectations in a ready-made apartment in the pivotal district of Offenbach, but the office has turned off electricity due to unpaid bills. Plus, Charlie still lives in the flesh misreading. Charlie is non-binary. Charlie was born a woman, rejects this biological type, but does not want to be a man either. It is difficult in a country to sell mineral water in the color of pink “girls”.

However, it becomes even more difficult with the bipolar mother who, despite being in debt, not only always ends up on a shopping spree, but also howls to her gender-indifferent daughter, “You have such beautiful breasts,” before the breasts tie her up. with cellophane. “Becoming Charlie” shows the complexity of forming gender identities apart from those in the passport. Whether Charlie is masculine or feminine, little or none of both, remains a mystery from the first to 100 minutes of this six-part personality study.

What’s clear from the first second: With this instant drama series, ZDFneo has achieved something rare in this country: a transgender fantasy that counteracts all possible clichés with reliable urgency. Lea Drinda in particular plays the inner turmoil of her main character as if she were Charlie himself – and thus she is in the tradition of wise young men with conviction as Jannis Niewöhner, who spend themselves in films to the point of self-dissolution.

A year and a half after her success as one of the addicted “Bahnhof Zoo Kids”, Derinda is once again ripping bourgeois conceptions of people out of heterogeneous values ​​once again. However, her fight against outdated images of femininity only turns her into a “lesbian” with a masculine habit from time to time. Oftentimes, Charlie is insecure, shy, and desperate, and thus fulfills many of the expectations that strangers often have of skinny blonde women like her.

When the ghetto (Ruven Israel) brags about his pregnant girlfriend (Aiken Streetjee Andersen) and the high-speed car (BMW), Derinda’s character falls into the man’s behavior. When dealing with her stern aunt Fabia (Katia Burkel) or her kind neighbor Ronja (Cera Anna Val), Charlie falls for female role models. In between, despondency and irritability may have the upper hand. But as soon as she dances against the circumstances with her buddies Nico (Danilo Cambridis) and Mirko (Anthony Stankovic), comfort and redemption fill the frown lines on the eyes of Drenda’s doe.

This striking contrast may be due to the viewing habits of German television viewers, who look for hope even in adversity – perfectly embodied by a beautiful woman at the top of the list of actors. But this is believable because Leon Lau’s autobiographical scripts reflect his development as a non-binary between Leipzig and Luzitz, a predominantly female cast around directors Kirsten Bolt and Greta Benkelmann.

Occasionally, the chain will benefit from a short distance from the staff. The excess of variety in the cramped space of a typically underdeveloped hot spot, where all the main characters somehow love differently, feels more like a wish than a reality to feminist filmmakers. And sometimes the pent-up aggression of the title heroine gets on your nerves. But beyond that, “Becoming Charlie” deviates in a fun way from the LGBTQI+ environment of other novels, which mostly feature the urban, well-groomed, and totally idiosyncratic, yet informal types. Is binary in the residential silo? This is new. that’s good.

Available in ZDF Media Library

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