[The Clapperboard] Children, Our Fellow Citizens

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2021.09.13
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2021.09.13
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Without a clapperboard, a movie hardly exists; when the clapperboard claps with a sharp sound, actors are immersed in their roles and staff hold their breath behind the camera. A film editor cuts and combines the scenes in accordance with the clapping sound and directions. As the screen projects the movie, which was born to talented cineastes and the clapperboard, the whole new world of the film opens its gate to audiences.


Writing several articles of the Mirror for a year, it’s been wistful that we can’t introduce gleaming movies owing to the depth of contents. Even if crucial issues and interests regarding the movie constantly arise, the movie has the possibility to bore the article and simplify its structure. This is why the Clapperboard starts from this edition. As a new regular content of the Mirror, the Clapperboard will debut delightful movies, following the current themes and issues of the day. Like a clapperboard of the movie shooting, the Clapperboard of the Mirror will be irreplaceable, eventually furnishing fresh movies and outlook to the readers.


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We were all children once, and we all happen to meet children in the street. However, they are easily alienated by confronting NO-KIDS zones and being objectified only as adorable and sheeplike creatures. In the 244th edition published in May, the Clapperboard puts the highlight on two movies about children. With these two movies Tomboy directed by Céline Sciamma and Raya and the Last Dragon produced by Walt Disney Pictures, we can meet children with genuine respect as our fellow children. 



A child who likes sports and blue shirts with short hair is easily perceived as a boy; Mickaël of Tomboy does too. Mickaël had an adventure regarding themselves’* gender in the summer of the age of ten. Hiding their previous name ‘Laure’ and imitating masculine behaviors, Mickaël grows step by step. On the other hand, Mickaël’s younger sister Jeanne and friend Lisa are ‘typical’ girls; they naturally grow long hair and wear skirts, and their toys are cosmetics and tiny pots for playing house. The movie makes no value judgment neither on Jeanne and Lisa’s social femininity nor on Mickaël’s social masculinity. Instead of offending or disregarding someone, the movie just cherishes all of the children’s time and worries. Whether Mickaël or Laure is a cisgender woman, lesbian woman, trans-man, or a non-binary, whether a person loves to play at the schoolyard or dressing table, the children and we all deserve respect and acknowledgment as human beings.

*During the movie, Mickaël is portrayed as a nonbinary who don’t define their gender as a female nor male, so a pronoun ‘themselves’ is used.



A talented actor Keira Knightley said that she doesn’t let her child watch old Disney princesses because of misogyny. They are unrealistically beautiful and wait for the prince’s salvation from other wicked women. Disney’s cartoon characters are criticized not only for sexism but also racism; most princesses are white, even some non-white characters exist but with western appearances. It’s 2021, and Disney had to be part of the change. Following the ambitious princesses, Elsa and Anna from Frozen, Raya from Raya, and The Last Dragon comes to defeat evil forces and stereotypes. The movie has its roots in oriental culture; especially its visual background and specific cultures resemble Southeast Asia. Raya’s hat, the dragon’s features, and soups they cook are all from Asia. The voices which fill the movie are also acted by Asian actors, Kelly Marie Tran, Awkwafina, Gemma Chan, and Sandra Oh. Still, the criticism regarding the reproduction of Asian culture is provoked, it’s fairly meaningful for influential Disney to present a compelling adventure of an Asian princess played by Asian. Regardless of the movie’s meaning, Raya’s perfect martial arts, the friendship between diverse female characters, and alternative family concept are fantastical. Raya and the Last Dragon will be watershed in Disney movies, finally providing an opportunity to appreciate movie without any discomfort.


By Kim Hyeyeong deputy editor in chief

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