‘Must be Strong’ is a film created for International Trans Day of Visibility starring trans model and activist Munroe Bergdorf, directed by Femke Huurdeman. The film sees Munroe at first uncomfortable in her own skin, tears brought on by society's pressures stick heavy. But as the film develops Munroe transforms into a powerful mermaid, an evolution enhanced by digital makeup created by digital artist Ines Alpha.
Bergdorf << In one way or another we all transition. Being our authentic selves takes work, strength and determination, especially in a society where gender, racial and sexual oppression still exists. We wanted to make a film that not only visualises the difficulties that trans people may face when it comes to body image such as gender dysphoria, but also to show that these are hurdles that we all face as humans, especially as women and marginalised communities.
The mermaid, a mythical creature is a manifestation of fierce beauty and strength. In one way or another we
are all mermaids navigating rough seas.
I want this film to be a reminder that no matter what those struggles may be, our differences unite us -
especially in today's society where we are all exposed to such high expectations and demands. >>
The film’s director, Femke Huurdeman, speaks of how this was an opportunity she jumped to, "not only because it’s important to me as a director to give a voice to the LGBTQ community, but also collaborating with Munroe, whose story and work as an activist is an inspiration itself.'' And adds "regardless of what your gender or sexuality is, I feel she can speak for and to anyone in such a powerful way."