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As Lilly Wachowski came out as transgender, she singled out the 1991 movie Silence of the Lambs for criticism.
The director — with sibling Lana Wachowski — wrote in her coming-out statement in the Windy City Times that the classic Jonathan Demme film starring Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins “demonized” the transgender community.
“Though we have come a long way since Silence of the Lambs, we continue to be demonized and vilified in the media where attack ads portray us as potential predators to keep us from even using the goddamn bathroom,” she wrote. “We are not predators, we are prey.”
Wachowski commented in reference to the film’s depiction of the serial-killer character Jame “Buffalo Bill” Gumb, who skins his female victims’ corpses and aims to build a “woman suit” of real skin. It is noted that he had once unsuccessfully applied for a sex-change operation. One of the film’s scenes shows the character dancing while wearing a shawl, makeup, jewelry and a blonde woman’s scalp.
Buffalo Bill, as played in the film by Ted Levine, can be seen in the video below.
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Jonathan Rhys Meyers
New York Film Critics Circle Awards
Red Sea Film Festival