Regretters (Film)

A documentary film about two Swedish men who both go under the knife and become women. Only to realize that changing their sex was a big mistake. They meet for the first time to talk about their lives. Regretters won the Prix Europa for best documentary in Berlin in 2010, the Swedish Academy Award (Guldbagge) for best Swedish documentary 2011 and has, besides been presented at numerous international film festivals, also been screened at The Museum of Modern Art in New York and The National Center for Contemporary Art in Moscow.

Though born as men, Mikael and Orlando both change their sex to become women. Now well into their 60s, the two meet for the first time to talk about their lives and, the one defining regret they both share, their sexual reassignment. Mikael underwent surgery in the mid-90s as a 50 year old, while Orlando was one of the very first sex change patients in Sweden in 1967.

Mikael now dresses as a man again and desperately attempts to convince his doctors to change him back. He wears over sized clothing to hide his breasts. Now he finds himself trapped inside a strange body that isn’t his. He feels lost between gender, he tells Orlando. Orlando is an androgynous dandy, dressed in a red velvet suit, donning a single diamond earring. Mikael finds his outfit peculiar. If Orlando regrets his sex-change, why does he continue to dress so feminine? He enjoys living as both: sometimes man, sometimes woman. But there was a time when he did not live life as split-gender. Orlando tells the story of his 11 year marriage to a man who presumed him to be a biological woman, until one afternoon when his secret was revealed.

Regretters has also been made into a theater play, which has been translated to several languages and performed in many countries.


Best Documentary, Guldbaggen (Swedish Academy Awards), 2011, Stockholm
Best Documentary, Kristallen (Swedish TV Awards), 2011, Stockholm
Best Documentary, Prix Europa 2010, Berlin
Best Documentary, Krakow International Film Festival, 2011
Best Documentary, Tel Aviv Gay & Lesbian Film Festival 2011
Audience Award, Gender DocuFilm Fest 2011, Rome
Best Documentary, Identities Queer Film Festival 2011, Vienna
Best Documentary, Barcelona Gay & Lesbian Film Festival 2011, Spain
Best Documentary, Side by Side Film Festival 2011, St Petersburg, Russia
Best Documentary, Boulder International Film Festival, USA
Best Documentary, Queer Lisboa 2010, Portugal
The Jury Prize at Hamburg Gay & Lesbian Film Festival 2010, Germany
Honorary Mention, Best Documentary, Nordisk Panorama 2010, Norway


Documentary Fortnight at The Museum of Modern Art, New York
Silverdocs Film Festival, Washington, DC
Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, Durham, NC
Hot Docs Documentary Film Festival, Toronto
Inside Out LGBT Film Festival, Toronto
London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival
Tokyo Gay & Lesbian Film Festival
Expresion en Corto, Mexico City
GAZE Film Festival, Dublin
Krakow Int. Film Festival
Tel Aviv Gay & Lesbian Film Festival
Liverpool Pride Festival
Athens Int. Film Festival, Greece
Queer Lisboa Film Festival, Portugal
Nordisk Panorama, Bergen, Norway
DokLeipzig, Germany
Hamburg Int. Queer Film Festival
Nordic Film Days, Lübeck
CPH:DOX, Copenhagen
RIDM, Montreal Int. Documentary Festival
Gothenburg Int. Film Festival
Vinokino Film Festival, Helsinki
Chicago Filmmakers
Boulder Int. Film Festival
Tempo Documentary Film Festival, Stockholm
Rio de Janeiro Int. Film Festival