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2 user 9 critic

XY Chelsea (2019)

Not Rated | | Documentary | 24 May 2019 (UK)
A look at the life and career of Chelsea Manning, a trans woman soldier in the United States Army, who was sentenced to serve 35 years at an all-male military prison for leaking information about the country's wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Writer:

Mark Monroe
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Chelsea Manning ... Self
Nancy Hollander Nancy Hollander ... Self
Vincent J. Ward Vincent J. Ward ... Self
Chase Strangio ... Self
Lisa Rein ... Self
Christina DiPasquale ... Self
Susan Manning Susan Manning ... Self
Janus Kopfstein Janus Kopfstein ... Self
Kelly Wright Kelly Wright ... Self
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Larissa Macfarquhar Larissa Macfarquhar ... Self
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Storyline

A look at the life and career of Chelsea Manning, a trans woman soldier in the United States Army, who was sentenced to serve 35 years at an all-male military prison for leaking information about the country's wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Convictions of Chelsea Manning

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

User Reviews

 
Flawed documentary about compelling subject matter
8 August 2019 | by paul-allaerSee all my reviews

"XY Chelsea" (2019 release from the UK; 90 min.) is a documentary about Chelsea Manning, the gender-transitioned erstwhile Bradley Manning, who in 2010 leaked 750,000 secret and sensitive documents and videos about the war in Iraq, where Manning was an intelligence analyst. As the movie opens, it is "January 17, 2017" and Manning's lawyer get a call (and we later see Pres. Obama explaining) that Manning's prison sentence is commuted (but not pardoned). The film crew follows Manning around upon the release from prison, and then the movie goes back in time for a look at Manning's upbringing and eventual joining the Army... At this point we're 15 min. into the movie.

Couple of comments: it is not always easy to distinguish the intrinsic value and merit of a film as opposed to the subject matter of the film. Even though in retrospect the title of this documentary should've been a dead giveaway, what I had expected was an objective (BBC-like) review and analysis of the leaks and the subsequent trial. And certainly there is some of that, but not nearly enough in my opinion. Instead, for the movie makers the leaks and the trial seem to be mere peripheral issues and instead they are focusing on the gender-transitioning of Manning and what life is like for Manning after being released from jail. This eventually includes media appearances, and, oh, magazine photo shoots, many, many photo shoots. I suppose that there is nothing wrong with showing the human side of Manning, but I had hoped for a far more objective portrait about what really happened with the leaks and at the subsequent trial.

"XY Chelsea" recently premiered on Showtime and I caught it on Showtime On Demand the other evening. I must admit that about halfway through I came close to turning this off, but then the second half got better and I did watch it until the very end. Still, I think this documentary is a missed opportunity, and given the complex if not compelling subject matter, it's probably only a matter of time that someone else will do a documentary about Manning. Of course I encourage you to check out "XY Manning" and draw your own conclusion.


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Details

Official Sites:

SHOWTIME

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 May 2019 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

XY Chelsea See more »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$12,959
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Color:

Color
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