New to VOD this week:
Guadalajara, New Orleans, Thessaloniki Doc, Cleveland, Bentonville, Southern Circuit, Heartland, Sidewalk, Frameline, Outfest, Inside Out, NewFest, LGBT fests in Hamburg, Seattle, Melbourne, Memphis, Rochester, Miami, Portland, Halifax, Kansas City, Austin, Hong Kong, Tel Aviv, Lisbon, Taiwan
Profiles of several transgender men who compete in a bodybuilding contest.
Director T Cooper’s thoughtful but somewhat scattered project ostensibly focuses on trans bodybuilders as they prepare for Trans FitCon, the only trans bodybuilding competition in the world. Aside from a small handful of scenes of working out, and Trans FitCon footage in the final stretch of the film, the project actually more or less ignores the bodybuilding to instead chronicle other, far more familiar issues related to transitioning and the trans experience. Cooper’s four subjects are likeable and interesting, but there could have been more time devoted to what bodybuilding does for them, the power of the sport to transform their bodies and to give them confidence, as well as addressing transphobia in the sport and in sports in general, which could further distinguish this project from the countless others that also explore details around transitioning, surgery, pronouns, and family relationships. The return to Trans FitCon towards the end of the film is also complicated by tangential explorations of new characters, while losing sight of the four principles.