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The character of Orlando stands in front of a mirror and we see her obviously female form reflected back But the film Orlando named after its main character is more than half over and up till now Orlando has not just portrayed a man but has been a man And as she for Orlando is undoubtedly she looks at her own reflection in the glass she quips Same person - no difference at all Just a different sex This fantastical film is based on the book of the same name written in 1928 by Virginia Woolf and it follows Orlando over four centuries Never aging a day Orlando is a man for the 17th and most of the 18th century After almost two hundred years in the mid 18th century an aversion to war and violence and a mans duty to partake of the two lead Orlando to make a choice to change genders and she continues as female into the present day Throughout this amazing life and miraculous transformation the film shows us that there are unwritten rules for what makes a man or woman and that these rules generally lie only on the surface When she claims that she is the same person regardless of sex Orlando highlights the instability of gender and the signifiers of fashion for gender are exposed and subverted Ferriss Waites 110 The film Orlando illustrates the idea that gender identity is dictated by cultural conditioning and that there is a kind of freedom in androgyny Throughout the film Orlando Sally Potter the director focuses on gender and the search for identity through gender Every major character within the film evokes a strong response to either their masculine or feminine traits however these judgements are based solely on societal clues For example the beginning of the film depicts Queen Elizabeth I in all her glory and finery We know she is
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