What is a Woman?

A discussion occurs in a women's locker room when someone asks a transgender woman to leave. One in the locker room means that woman is something that you are born as and not something you can become. The discussion escalates continuously as more people interfere. Everyone with different thoughts about what a woman is.

  • Marin Håskjold
  • Marin Håskjold
  • Guro Bruusgaard
  • Magnus Mork
  • Mariken Halle
  • Katja Eyde Jacobsen
  • Mina Alette Høvik
    Key Cast
  • Rebekka Jynge
    Key Cast
  • Louise Löwenberg
    Key Cast
  • Mariken Halle
    Key Cast
  • Eva Johansson
    Key Cast
  • Marin Håskjold
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    Hva er en kvinne?
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    14 minutes 13 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    July 20, 2020
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
    Norwegian, Swedish
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Marin Håskjold

Marin Håskjold (b.1993, Trondheim) is an artist and a filmmaker. She has participated in a number of exhibition and film festivals including the Short Film Festival in Grimstad and the exhibition SYKLUS at Telemark kunstnersenter. She trained at the Nordland School of Arts and Film in Kabelvåg in the Lofoten Islands, and she holds a BA from the Tromsø Academy of Contemporary Art. Håskjolds works includes the short film “Lady of the Night” and the art film “Talkshow”. She is a part of the film collective and production company Alternativet Production where she directed and produced the short film “What is a Woman?”.

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Director Statement

What is a woman? is inspired by the Norwegian trans discourse that has flourished over the last years. With the new law making the process of legal gender recognition easier and the ongoing discussion about what changing room trans people should use, the trans rights movement has divided the feminist movement.
The characters and the script is based on the comments and articles shared on a secret feminist discussion group on Facebook, where a major debate about gender and trans rights has developed over the past few years.
This raises big philosophical questions. Who can define who is a woman and who is not? Is being a specific gender biologically or socially conditioned?
As a director I work with improvisation and intuition. In What is a Woman? I didn’t work with a classic manuscript. Instead I used short dialogues for further improvisation. In the process with What is a Woman? I used a lot of time working on the different characters with the actors. It was important to go into the depth of the character with each actor. This was important to create a complex discussion. It was also important that the actors could relate to some of the characters, especially the trans character that is played by a trans actor.
There has been a lot of focus on gender politics and feminism in the recent years. The public debate about trans rights has been really heated and is dividing the feminist movement. What is a Woman? doesn’t take anybody’s side, but gives the audience a chance to reflect for themselves. I think this discussion can be both scary and personal, but I believe it’s really important to be a part of it.