By Parker Marie Molloy
Originally published on Advocate.com May 16 2014 2:32 PM ET
Canadian indie rock darlings Arcade Fire teamed up with The Amazing Spider-Man 2 star Andrew Garfield for the latest music video from their 2013 album Reflektor.
"We Exist" begins with a downtrodden Garfield shaving his head, before cutting to a shot of him applying makeup, a wig, a bra, and a women's blouse before venturing out of his house.
The video follows along as Garfield's character enters a bar where he is assaulted by a group of violent men. After an impressive dance sequence, Garfield is shown walking through the crowd at an Arcade Fire concert, filmed at last month's Coachella festival.
It's unclear whether Garfield's character is intended to be a transgender woman or a man in drag, and the band's own words do little to clarify this. The band's YouTube channel includes the description, "our film follows the story of a young person's struggle with gender identity," though Rolling Stone reported that Arcade Fire front man Win Butler described the song as "about a gay kid talking to his dad."
Introducing the song at Coachella, Butler announced, "The right to marry anyone you want is a human rights issue." Whether a transgender woman or merely "Andrew in Drag," the music video is a visually powerful output from the Grammy-winning band.