Watching the documentary “Man Made” the other day made me think. In the 21stcentury transgender people continue to have a precarious existence in our society. Violence, unemployment, rejection, and death always lie in wait. The average lifespan of a transgender person is 30, a frightening statistic. Director T. Cooper’s focuses on 4 transgender men. Each with a goal of entering the Trans Fit Con Body Building competition in Atlanta, Georgia.
Thankfully, Cooper handles the material in a presentational manner. It would have been easy to deploy a heavy dose of drama to make the audience sympathetic to the cause. The director avoids the “society as a guilty oppressor”. The documentary keeps the emptional focus centered, showing the discipline involved preparing for a competitive sport. Every body builder lives for the pose on stage.
Not a tragedy, but a film about hope. Each man overcomes the many obstacles staying on track in the face of personal adversity. In the end, a sense of accomplishment is universal.
From Journeyman Pictures, Man Made is available on Vimeo, Google Play, iTunes, and Amazon.