I Am a Woman Now 2011
Distributed by Film Platform
Produced by Monique Busman, Michiel van Erp
Directed by Michiel van Erp
DVD, color, 88 min.
College - General Adult
Gender, Queer Studies, Feminism, Sex Change
Date Entered: 11/05/2015Reviewed by Johnnie N. Gray, Director of Media Services, Christopher Newport University
In this documentary about switching genders, five women have had sex changes in Casablanca by the pioneer of male to female sexual reassignment surgery, Dr. Georges Burou. Opening up about their past and present life, these women show courage and tenacity in the face of stigma. As the film opens, Corrine, a former patient, is seen putting flowers on Dr. Burou's grave and eventually traveling back to Casablanca to see the clinic where her new life began. Throughout the film, these women share stories of their teen years and not fitting into society. All eventually complete the surgery and go on to live as a women. Each story is different as Corrine shows photos of modeling success, April was a showgirl and Jean lived with a woman and would change gender more fluidly to suit her needs. Corrine's story is more fleshed out as we see her come out in an emotional exchange with a friend, that she was born a boy. The importance of being honest and happy with who you are, regardless of gender is expressed more than once. Mental hospitals, military service, finding a job are all subjects that are touched on. The son of Dr. Burou is also interviewed to discuss his father's work.
I Am a Woman Now is an important look at gender and the early days of sexual reassignment. It is a documentary that is important in understanding life after a sex change and that life goes on and takes many directions. Suitable for studies in sociology, gender studies and queer studies. Some nudity is shown and the content lends itself to a more mature audience. Acceptable for 18 and up. An essential film when looking at sex changes and gender reassignment.