Matrix director Lilly Wachowski says trilogy is a 'trans story'

Carla Harmon
August 6, 2020

But that's not it: fans of the The Matrix have believed for a long time that the movie embodied the experience of a closeted trans person finally realizing their true self, in the journey of protagonist Neo (played by Keanu Reaves) - a theory Lilly Wachowski has finally confirmed in an interview with Netflix Film Club. "And so, we had the character of Switch [played by Belinda McClory], who would be a man in the real world and then a woman in The Matrix".

Wachowski said she was glad that viewers were talking about "The Matrix" movies with a trans narrative. "The world wasn't quite ready, at a corporate level...the corporate world wasn't ready for it [at the time]". "When you make a film, it is a public art form". I like that there's an evolution process that we as human beings engage in art in a non-linear way.

'I love how meaningful those films are to trans people in the way they come up to me and say, "These movies save my life" because when you talk about transformation, specifically in the world of science fiction which is just about imagination and world-building and the idea of the seemingly impossible becoming possible, that's why it speaks to them so much, ' she said.

With Hollywood slowly opening up to representation for the trans community, I have a feeling these concepts will find their way to the fourth Matrix film which is now undergoing production.

Amusing enough, though this interview clip is new, The Matrix is not now available on Netflix.

Wachowski expressed some scepticism about the blatantness of such readings, saying: "I don't know how present my trans-ness was in my brain as we were writing it". And, of course, Wachowski discusses The Matrix and more in the new documentary about trans representation in Hollywood, Disclosure.

"Because trans people exist in this, especially for me and Lana, we're existing in this space where the words didn't exist so we were always living in a world of imagination". That's why I gravitated towards sci-fi and fantasy and played Dungeons and Dragons.

Matrix 4, whose filming is taking place in this period in Berlin, is written and directed only by his sister Lana, with Lilly who should not even be among the producers. It was a matter of creating worlds. "That's where both of our headspaces were", Lilly Wachowski added, speaking to her sister Lana Wachowski.

"I think it freed us up as film-makers because we were able imagine things that at that time you didn't necessarily see on screen".

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