Though born as men, Mikael and Orlando both change their sex to become women. Now well into their 60s, the two meet for the first time to talk about their lives and, the one defining regret they both share, their sexual reassignment.
Mikael underwent surgery in the mid-90s as a 50 year old, while Orlando was one of the very first sex change patients in Sweden in 1967. Mikael now dresses as a man again and desperately attempts to convince his doctors to change him back. He wears over sized clothing to hide his breasts. Now he finds himself trapped inside a strange body that isn't his. He feels lost between gender, he tells Orlando.
Orlando is an androgynous dandy, dressed in a red velvet suit, donning a single diamond earring. Mikael finds his outfit peculiar. If Orlando regrets his sex-change, why does he continue to dress so feminine? He enjoys living as both: sometimes man, sometimes woman. But there was a time when he did not live life as split-gender. Orlando tells the story of his 11 year marriage to a man who presumed him to be a biological woman, until one afternoon when his secret was revealed.
Young director Marcus Lindeen tells this story only through the two men’s dialogue recorded in a film studio. Marcus has also written a stage version of the film, a play that he directed in 2006 with actors portraying Mikael and Orlando at Stockholm’s City Theater. The play has since been translated into English, French and German. A new production of the play recently opened at The National Theater in Oslo, Norway, and the German translation was selected for the FIND-festival at The Schaubuhne Theater in Berlin in 2008.
Marcus Lindeen, born in 1980, is a playwright and director. Before working with film and theater he was a writer and a radio producer. Regretters is his debut as a film director. He graduated in 2008 as a director from Dramatiska Institutet (The National University of Film and Theater) in Stockholm. He made his debut as a director and playwright in 2006 with the stage production of Regretters at Stockholms Stadsteater (Stockholm City Theater). The production was selected as one of the best Swedish contemporary plays by The Royal Dramatic Theater and The NationalSwedish Television. It was broadcasted on national television in 2009. Before getting into theater and film, Marcus worked as a journalist. For several years he was hosting the weekly radio show Flipper (a Swedish “This American Life”) on The National Swedish Radio. He also went to art school in Denmark and worked as a freelance writer and radio producer in New York. Right now he is writing on one new commissioned play and has two new film projects in development for 2011 and 2012. He lives in Stockholm.
2011 Best Documentary, Guldbaggen (Swedish Academy Awards)
2010 Best Documentary, Prix Europa, Berlin
2010 Best Documentary, Queer Lisboa, Portugal
2010 The Jury Prize at Hamburg Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, Germany
Honorary Mention, Best Documentary, Nordisk Panorama 2010, Norway