Arcade Fire 'We Exist': Andrew Garfield plays trans woman in new video

The video sees the British actor playing a young person grappling with their identity

Arcade Fire have released a new music video for their song "We Exist", which sees British actor Andrew Garfield dressing in drag as he takes on the role of a young person struggling with their gender identity.

The band posted a 20-second teaser two weeks ago before unveiling the full six-minute version yesterday.

The video starts off with The Amazing Spider-Man star looking tearfully into a mirror before shaving off his hair, putting on women’s clothes and make-up and donning a blonde wig.

Garfield then goes to a bar and dances with one of the men, which all seems pleasant enough, but there is an underlying tension as to whether the man will realise that his dancing partner is not biologically female.

Our worst fears are confirmed when Garfield’s character gets into a brawl and is pushed around by several men, in scenes reminiscent to Boys Don’t Cry. The film is based on the tragic true story of Brandon Teena, who was raped and murdered by a group of men after being discovered to be transgender.

Luckily, the "We Exist" video takes a positive turn as Garfield’s character falls to the floor and into a dream-like sequence, performing a Flashdance­-esque dance through the now empty bar.

The video gets even more surreal as four burly men, one with a moustache and beard, attired in hot pants, heels and short skirts serve as backing dancers.

The music video concludes with Garfield taking to the stage with Arcade Fire at a music festival. His character is now wearing a flowing white dress and pink eye make-up and resembles an ethereal being.   

The video was filmed live during Arcade Fire’s performance of "We Exist" at the Coachella Festival in California back in April.

The song is from the indie rock group’s new album Reflektor and is about a gay son coming out to his father, according to Arcade Fire’s frontman Win Butler.

Arcade Fire’s new music video could not have come at a better time as LGBT issues have hit the headlines, following Eurovision victory for Austria’s drag act, Conchita Wurst, last week.

 

Wurst, real name Tom Neuwirst, was subjected to transphobic abuse during this year’s Eurovision contest.

She was branded a “pervert” by Russian politician Vitaly Milonov, while Vladimir Zhirinovsky, another MP from the country, said that Wurst’s victory signalled “the end of Europe.”

Read more: Conchita Wurst 'bearded women and men' parade banned
Austria's Conchita Wurst hits back at transphobic criticism
Conchita Wurst: A great ambassador for gender diversity

The Austrian singer, who won hearts across Europe with the Bond-like ballad "Rise Like a Phoenix", hit back at critics, saying “I can only say ‘Thank you for your attention!’

“If this is only about me and my person, I can live with it. I'm just a singer in a fabulous dress, with great hair and a beard,” she added in an interview with the Associated Press.

There is still an ongoing backlash in Russia against the outcome of this year's Eurovision winner, with some men reportedly shaving their beards in protest and officials calling for the nation to leave the contest and stage a "straight" equivalent.

Both Wurst’s success and Arcade Fire’s video for "We Exist" send a powerful message in solidarity to the LGBT community and are likely to rile detractors.

Arts and Entertainment
BBC Three was launched a little over five years ago with the slogan: “Three, is a magic number, yes it is.”

BBC Trust agrees to axe channel from TV in favour of digital move

TV
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer

film
Arts and Entertainment

books
Arts and Entertainment
Armie Hammer in the new film of ‘The Lone Ranger’

TV
Arts and Entertainment

festivals
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Buying a stairway to Hubbard: the Scientology centre in Los Angeles
film review Chilling inside views on a secretive church
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Williamson, left, and Andrew Fearn of Sleaford Mods
musicYou are nobody in public life until you have been soundly insulted by Sleaford Mods
Arts and Entertainment
Natalie Dew (Jess) in Bend It Like Beckham The Musical
theatreReview: Bend It Like Beckham hits back of the net on opening night
Arts and Entertainment
The young sea-faring Charles Darwin – seen here in an 1809 portrait – is to be portrayed as an Indiana Jones-style adventurer
film
Arts and Entertainment
The audience aimed thousands of Apple’s product units at Taylor Swift throughout the show
musicReview: On stage her manner is natural, her command of space masterful
Arts and Entertainment
Channel 4 is reviving its Chris Evans-hosted Nineties hit TFI Friday

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Harrison Ford plays Indiana Jones in The Last Crusade (1989)

film
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
A Glastonbury reveller hides under an umbrella at the festival last year

Glastonbury
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Miles Morales is to replace Peter Parker as the new Spider-Man

comics
Arts and Entertainment
The sequel to 1993's Jurassic Park, Jurassic World, has stormed into the global record books to score the highest worldwide opening weekend in history.

film
Arts and Entertainment
Odi (Will Tudor)
tvReview: Humans, episode 2
Arts and Entertainment
Can't cope with a Port-A-loo? We've got the solution for you

FestivalsFive ways to avoid the portable toilets

Arts and Entertainment
Some zookeepers have been braver than others in the #jurassiczoo trend

Jurassic WorldThe results are completely brilliant

Arts and Entertainment
An original Miffy illustration
art
Arts and Entertainment
Man of mystery: Ian McKellen as an ageing Sherlock Holmes
film review
Arts and Entertainment
Kitchen set: Yvette Fielding, Patricia Potter, Chesney Hawkes, Sarah Harding and Sheree Murphy
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Chris Evans has been confirmed as the new host of Top Gear
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Top of the class: Iggy Azalea and the catchy ‘Fancy’
music
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

    Making of a killer

    What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
    UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

    Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

    Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
    Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
    Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

    Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

    Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
    Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

    No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

    Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
    Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

    Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

    The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
    Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

    Something wicked?

    Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
    10 best sun creams for body

    10 best sun creams for body

    Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
    Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

    Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

    Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
    Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

    There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

    The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
    How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

    How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

    Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
    Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

    One day to find €1.6bn

    Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
    New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

    'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

    Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
    Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

    Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

    The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
    Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

    Historians map out untold LGBT histories

    Public are being asked to help improve the map