52 Tuesdays chronicles the relationship of 16-year-old Billie (Tilda Cobham-Harvey) and her transgender mother, James (Del Herbert-Jane), who makes the difficult decision to transition from female to male – and, as a result, away from her daughter. Initially accepting, Billie agrees to live with her father and only see James for six hours every Tuesday.
The film represents queer characters as fully human – selfish, virtuous, mundane; suffering the micro-aggressions of heteronormativity. Made on a minuscule budget with amateur actors, director Sophie Hyde employs an intriguing filming modus operandi. Shooting each Tuesday, actors would learn only their current scene, no reshoots. This production method lends the film a temporal, existential veracity; its narrative ebbs and flows, reflecting the queer identities on screen, always in flux. James and Billie both filmically document their personal transitions, from female to male and child to sexual maturity respectively, in an attempt to make sense of themselves. Frustrated at the ever elusive end point of “becoming” an authentic self, Billie fumes, “It never ends!” James confirms, “No, it doesn’t.” [Rachel Bowles]
Released by Peccadillo Pictures
There are preview screenings of 52 Tuesdays taking place at Glasgow Film Theatre (3 Aug), HOME, Manchester (4 Aug) and FACT, Liverpool (5 Aug), each of which will be followed by a Q&A with director Sophie Hyde