Disclosure, a documentary that examines the history of transgender representation on-screen over the past one hundred years, is available to watch on Netflix now – and it’s a must-watch this Pride Month.
The documentary, which became available to stream on the streaming platform yesterday, June 19, offers a much-needed look at the history of transgender representation on-screen from as far back as 1914 to as recently as 2018.
With Laverne Cox at the helm as executive producer, Disclosure Documentary explores Hollywood’s problematic representations of the trans community across history through the lens of that very trans community.
Watch the trailer below:
How? By featuring commentary from Cox and other creators such as Lilly Wachowski, Yance Ford, Mj Rodriguez, Jamie Clayton, and Chaz Bono – all of whom are trans.
‘There are all these different ways of looking,’ Cox told IndieWire. ‘I think about the cis-normative gaze, the heteronormative gaze, the white supremacist gaze…’
So to prioritise and centre trans spectatorship feels so — I will never not be endlessly excited about the fact that our film does that in such a profoundly beautiful way.
Throughout the documentary, viewers are enlightened as to how mainstream media depictions of transgender people can not only be offensive, but harmful and distressing too.
During one interview, actress and writer Jen Richards told a painful story about how when she came out, a friend brought up Silence of the Lambs.
Actress and filmmaker Rain Valdez told a similar story about watching Soapdish – a film that saw Cathy Moriarty’s character revealed as transgender and ultimately villainised in its finale – with her family as a child.
Cox admitted she didn’t question what happened in the final scene for quite some time, stating: ‘What happens at the end is like, I hadn’t even allowed myself to process it. I was so accustomed to trans people being made fun of on camera… it was such a part of the standard curriculum, that I didn’t question it the first hundred times I saw the movie.’
Other films/TV shows mentioned throughout Disclosure include Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, The Crying Game and Dallas Buyers Club.
The documentary is directed by Sam Feder and produced Amy Scholder.
Disclosure: Trans Lives on Screen is available to stream now on Netflix.
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence contact Mindline Trans+ on 0300 330 5468. The line is open 8pm–midnight Mondays and Fridays and is run by trans volunteers.
Netflix Film Club/YouTube
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