Entertainment » Movies

Newfest 2009 :: Against A Trans Narrative

by Christian Cintron
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Tuesday Jun 9, 2009
Newfest 2009 :: Against A Trans Narrative

Against a Trans Narrative, the new film by trans filmmaker Jules Rosskam, explores the idea of how representations of female-to-male transsexuals can affect their lives, politics, and feminist leanings. As the trans movement gets a greater representation in the media, how does it affect people who are still formulating their identity. Do former females even want to be considered men? The film opens up discussions about how gender swapping can be viewed as anti-feminist, the debate over male privilege, and the political ramifications of giving out testosterone.

Rosskam uses various filming techniques to tell the film's "story," which is told through dramatic scenes. These scenes are then watched by round tables of a cross-section of the LGBT community (and more) who discuss the themes of the vignettes over dinner. These scenes are crosscut with interview/audition segments, a slam poet, and diary style footage with Rosskam. The stories matched with the interview segments comprise a unique and interesting form of storytelling. They provide the forum to explore the issues that Rosskam wishes discuss in an innovative manner.

Although the film is mainly comprised of people discussing political and historical topics the film has an even tone and pace and is much more entertaining and engaging than a documentary.

The style of the film does work. Although the film is mainly comprised of people discussing political and historical topics, it is much more entertaining and engaging than most documentaries. It's very thought provoking to hear what trans and non-trans people think about it. The general consensus... that there is no real narrative to describe the trans movement without inadvertently affecting it. Or is it? You decide.

The film ventures to provide an equal representation, which is nice. It shows a diverse spectrum of people of various races, ages, sexual orientations and sexual identities. The only group lacking seemed to be trans men who transition from women into gay men.

The film is both documentary and fiction piece, and an argument for and against a trans narrative. There are moments that are a little heavy-handed politically and the inclusion of a slam poet seems to distract more than to entertain, but all in all, Against a Trans Narrative is able to provide just that a trans narrative that transcends not only gender but filmmaking itself.

Christian Cintron is a writer, actor and stand up comedian. He attended Vassar College and has worked in marketing and social media. For more check out YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/CintronicComedy and www.obscureathon.com


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