Young film director Even Benestad tells the story of his own father Espen Benestad who is a transvestite and seeks his son's acceptance.

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Cast

Cast overview:
Espen Benestad ...
Himself (as Esben Esther Pirelli Benestad)
Elsa Almås ...
Herself (wife)
Elisabeth Benestad ...
Herself (daughter) (as Elisabeth Skaflem Benestad)
Liv ...
Herself (first wife)
Even Benestad ...
Himself (son)
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Young film director Even Benestad tells the story of his own father Espen Benestad who is a transvestite and seeks his son's acceptance.

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22 February 2002 (Norway)  »

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All About My Father  »

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Spoofed in Typisk norsk: Episode #3.1 (2006) See more »

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A truly intelligent film
27 May 2005 | by (travelling south-east asia) – See all my reviews

I'll admit, I am an academic type, and this film brought to me a very interesting tale of a real transvestite, following the trail from his childhood up to late parenting, from his kids point of view. For me, this film was inspiring, and well, being the academic nerd that I am, it was "fun".

We actually ended up discussing observations during the film. For instance how Elsa seemed to have accepted the concept of "Esther" as an exciting concept and an extension of the manly in him; his decisiveness and courage, and how she seemed to be clutching to this version of it.

Also it was interesting to note how Esbens transvestitism posed two extreme paths: being the accepted male-female, where he was blissfully happy and was granted more attention, understanding and respect than many people get in a lifetime. And on the other hand, the misunderstood transvestite who felt hollow, misunderstood and abandoned.

As any psychologist will tell you, these extremes, and the demand and savouring of attention and respect, resembles narcissism a lot, but the self-humiliation of dressing in drag is of course the completely opposite of a narcissist's yearning to be "perfect".

The documentary also showed how Esben in many ways had moved more and more towards "Esther", and how he seemed to conceal and deny that this process was going on. Those were not man-breasts, and I don't think his "life-long project" was some idealistic work for accepting children, to put it like that. This was very cunningly portrayed by Even.

But here I go discussing again, what I was going to say with the above was that this is a film with truly intelligent people, discussing something very important for them, with real feelings and genuinely good argumentation. This human exchange, and the portrayal of thinking people with feelings, was very nice, and I'd say rare. Recommended documentary!


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