Michael Ray De Los Angeles.
♛ email: MichaelRay@LoraxCommunity.org
Los Angeles, CA, 2015
by Janet Finch
(Also full-length feature film )
This coming of age story follows the young girl Astrid as she moves from foster home to foster home while her mother serves an extended jail sentence for poisoning and murdering a cheating lover. Throughout the novel Astrid has numerous identities imposed onto her by those around her; her surrogate mothers, foster parents and even the school system all take a part in constructing Astrid’s identity. In adapting a book for film, there are always elements which are not represented, either because of film’s time constraints or production limitations; within the film, one aspect of the book that is glossed over is the explicit sexual relationship that Astrid has with her adoptive father figure which ends violently for the young girl. The censorship of the fictitious relationship between Astrid and her paternal figure within the film demonstrates one of the many ways in which female sexuality is muted. Furthermore, this muting of sexual identity demonstrates that the sexualization of females is “signified by age” (as Nancy Lesko would suggest), and because Astrid has not fulfilled the social sand cultural signifiers of adulthood, the representation of her relationship with her adoptive father is something that is only expressed in the print version of White Oleander.