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14 user 26 critic

Let Me Die a Woman (1977)

X | | Documentary | 1977 (USA)
A documentary on the work of sex-change specialist Dr.Leo Wollman, including interviews with Dr.Wollman and a few of his patients, with an illustrated lecture on the various aspects of ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Leslie
Deborah Harten ... Herself - Transsexual
Lisa Carmelle
Frank Pizzo
... Rhoda's Cab Driver (as Tim Long)
Carol Sands
Billy Kelman
Doug Martin
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A documentary on the work of sex-change specialist Dr.Leo Wollman, including interviews with Dr.Wollman and a few of his patients, with an illustrated lecture on the various aspects of transsexuality plus actual footage of a sex-change operation, which is what gives the film its notoriety. Written by Michael Brooke <michael@everyman.demon.co.uk>

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All True! All Real! See A Man Become A Woman Before Your Eyes! See more »

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X | See all certifications »
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1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Déjenme morir mujer  »

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1.85 : 1
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Trivia

The film was rejected for UK cinema and only received a certificate in 1982 after extensive cuts of over 10 minutes. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Ban the Sadist Videos! (2005) See more »

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Rather naive documentary made under the banner of exploitation
5 May 2012 | by See all my reviews

An extension of the Mondo-style documentary, with their "mission" to illustrate, and exploit unknown or forgotten cultural practises and habits, Doris Wishman's (see Review #298: 'Deadly Weapons' (1974)) Let Me Die a Woman follows the work of sex reassignment surgeon Dr Leo Wollman (who also acted as the films adviser), and his work with both post- and pre-op transsexuals. The film has interviews with the aforementioned doctor, along with several transsexuals in various stages of transformation, and also throws in some re-enactments and dramatisations of some of their experiences.

Whilst this is billed under the exploitation banner, and would have been shown in these types of cinema, the film is not overly exploitative, and presents the stories and their participants in quite a sympathetic manner. However, the film does explore, in a very graphically visual manner the operations required to alter the genitalia. Of course with this being made in the 1970's means that the screen is filled with incredibly hairy, militant-looking pubic areas, whilst these men with tits flash their flaccid c***s for the camera. In one scene the doctor probes a post-op vagina with his fingers - a sexual orifice so hideous that I simply had to avert my eyes.

Aside from the Mondo movies (and of course Faces of Death (1978) et al), I am not really aware of any other exploitation film that used this documentary style to expose new, sometimes weird phenomenon - except for Being Different (1981) that focused on exploiting circus sideshow acts, and included a modern day Elephant Man - so I am unqualified to state whether this film is emblematic of it's kind. What does strike me is the fact that this type of documentary was so new, and also that it was marginalised to the exploitation/grindhouse circuits. The subject matter, and the gratuitousness of the film highlights to me how this kind of "exploitation" is in fact now a fundamental part of prime-time television, with shows such as Embarrassing Bodies or any others of the many, many similar formats that infest our screens, in our homes, whilst we f*****g eat our dinner! Given this parallel, and shift in the ways in which the participants are exploited in the modern-day TV show and the cinematic format, the film is pretty naive.

www.the-wrath-of-blog.blogspot.com


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