By Marleen GORRIS


Drama - Pre-Production 2006

    • Year of production
    • 2006
    • Genres
    • Drama, Romance
    • Countries
    • Languages
    • Budget
    • 10 - 25 M$
    • Duration
    • 100 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Marleen GORRIS
    • Writer(s)
    • Malcolm KOHLL
    • Producer(s)
    • Synopsis
    • "An incident is just now being discussed in military circles, so extraordinary that, were not the truth capable of being vouched for by official authority, the narration would certainly be deemed incredible” So begins a story in the Manchester Guardian of 21 August, 1865, detailing the remarkable life and death of Doctor James Miranda Barry. Born Miranda Barry, the young girl was orphaned at an early age and brought up by General Francisco De Miranda, a free thinker, who instilled in her the belief that she could become whatever she wanted to. Miranda wanted to be a doctor, but at a time women were forbidden entry to university, and so she entered Edinburgh medical school disguised as a man. Barry joined the army as a surgeon and was posted to the British garrison at the Cape. Her medical prowess and reforming zeal soon brought her enemies but also attracted the attention of a powerful ally, the Governor, Lord Charles Somerset. Somerset was drawn to the brilliant young doctor with 'his' incisive mind. Barry provided genial company in the rough frontier fort for the lonely widower, and after a while Somerset found himself attracted to the young 'man.' Initially Somerset was deeply disturbed by his feelings but then discovered that Barry was in fact a woman, and so began a passionate clandestine affair. However, Somerset's enemies had also noted his fondness for the young doctor and a leaflet campaign was started which accused Somerset of homosexuality, a crime which could carry the death sentence. Rather than reveal the truth, Somerset refused to testify and was eventually recalled to London in disgrace. Barry left Cape Town to work in the remote leper colony of Hemel en Aarde, the Dutch name for ‘Heaven and Earth’. It seemed that her one chance of true happiness was gone forever. Then a note came from Somerset, begging her to join him. Barry embarked for the United Kingdom, and for the first time in her adult life appeared as a woman. However, her happiness was to be short-lived as Somerset died in a riding accident. Miranda Barry once more cut her hair and changed back to become Dr James Barry. She re-entered the army and spent the rest of her life as a man, eventually rising to become Surgeon General of the British Army.
    • Beginning of shooting
    • Jun 01, 2006
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