‘Renée’ (documentary)

Reviewed by Elliot V. Kotek

(June 2011, screening at the 2011 Los Angeles Film Festival)

Directed by: Eric Drath

Featuring: Renée Richards, Martina Navratilova, John McEnroe, Barbara Krohn, Nicholas Raskind, Bud Collins, Mary Carillo, Billie Jean King and Virginia Wade

For those familiar with the tennis legacy of Renée Richards (even if only as an answer to a Trivial Pursuit question), Eric Drath’s Espn Films documentary serves up (no pun intended) an engrossing documentary. Richards’ efforts as a male, then as a professional female tennis player deserve to be more widely known, and the transsexual’s exploits on and off the court in the late 1970s must be considered in any assessment of public pioneers for the Lgbt cause.

Born Richard Raskind in 1934, the Yale athlete and medical-school graduate seemed to have everything going for him as a surgeon and first-class amateur tennis player. That he felt compelled to embrace his
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