6.5/10
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7 user 5 critic

The Aggressives (2005)

Not Rated | | Documentary | 3 June 2005 (USA)
An insightful exposé on the subculture of lesbian butches and their "femme" counterparts who tow the line between gender definitions. Filmed over five years in NYC, the featured "Aggressives" share their dreams, secrets and deepest fears.

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Marquise Balenciaga ...
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Kisha Batista ...
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An insightful exposé on the subculture of lesbian butches and their "femme" counterparts who tow the line between gender definitions. Filmed over five years in NYC, the featured "Aggressives" share their dreams, secrets and deepest fears.

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Not Rated

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Beautiful human portraits
18 April 2007 | by See all my reviews

I agree with one of the former commentators that this is a good movie, but I don't agree with her recommendation that you have to be a lesbian (or in the alternative gender and sexual community either at for that matter) to enjoy this movie. I'm a black Swedish/American 41 yo heterosexual male myself.

The theme of the movie is about six 20-something women of color that identify themselves as "aggressives", a sub-genre in the "butch" category of lesbians. Sort of. Throughout the movie the women try to define what "an aggressive" is, but as often is the case in areas of subcultures, there is no defined or obvious answer.

As the movie moves along you realize that the answer is not at all important, but the stories coming out of the question about what an aggressive is, are. The strength of the this non-storyline movie is the honesty and the nakedness of these young women's stories, and we get a good sense of where they are coming from, what they are going through, and how they deal with the world from their perspective.

They of course all have unique stories and have their own unique personalities which is way more interesting to learn about than elaborating solely on how they express or don't express themselves sexually. Or what (specific) gender orientation they subscribe too. Since we're dealing with quite young women, my guess is that these are things that are prone to change with time as they mature and evolve.

In the middle of the movie one woman says, "being aggressive is basically about who wear the pants in a relationship". Towards the end of the movie however, the same woman says "aggressive - I used to be really excited about that word. Now, just call me Kisha" (her name).

What I get out if it is, don't get too hung up about labels, be who you are, and express yourself in a way that you are comfortable with. A message I think anyone can identify with, especially a person who have ever felt that they are different. Ironically enough, I think most of us have.


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