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Orlando - Queer Pioneers

In 1603, the young nobleman Orlando must promise the queen never to grow old. He does so. Centuries later, something profound happens: he becomes a she. With Tilda Swinton.

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Deze voorstelling maakt deel uit van Rialto Filmclub met als gastspreker deze maand Ernst-Jan Pfauth.

Prior to the film, QP curator Renske Diks will speak to Alejandra Ortiz, the author of the 2022 book De waarheid zal me bevrijden (The Truth Will Set Me Free), in which she talks about how she fled Mexico as a trans woman. In the Netherlands, she advocates for a better life for trans people, especially trans people of colour - with or without papers. For her work, she received the Winq Community Award 2023.

Please take note: this talk will be in English.


"This ravishing and witty spectacle invades the mind through eyes that are dazzled without ever being anesthetised", wrote an American film critic in 1993 about Orlando, the second feature film by British director Sally Potter. The story, based on Virginia Woolf's 1928 novel Orlando, a biography, raises important gender issues and was part of the British multimedia art project Orlando: the Queer Element in 2017. The lead role in this beautifully and sumptuously dressed journey through time is played by Tilda Swinton.

In 1603, the young, androgynous nobleman Orlando (Swinton) is summoned to the deathbed of Queen Elizabeth I. She promises him land and wealth, but then he must never 'fade, disappear or grow old'. He promises. Centuries pass, during which Orlando engages in poetry and art, until he decides to become British ambassador to the Ottoman Empire. After his first experience of war, something happens that will have major consequences for him in the centuries to come: he turns into a woman.