For this week’s Friday Film Pick I’m choosing two very different, seemingly unrelated docs that are available for online viewing. Girl Inside is an intimate portrayal of a male transitioning to female, and because the film is available for streaming from Canada’s TVO broadcaster, it is likely unavailable to non-Canadian residents.
With that in mind, I’ve also selected a great little short about racial profiling by police in New York city (which appears first below). Both are compelling works showcasing the intersection of identity, oppression and the subjective resistance to oppression through identity. Enjoy (videos after the jump).
From The Nation: In this video, exclusive to TheNation.com, Alvin describes his experience of the stop, and working NYPD officers come forward to explain the damage stop-and-frisk has done to their profession and their relationship to the communities they serve.
The emphasis on racking up stops has also hindered what many officers consider to be the real work they should be doing on the streets. The video sheds unprecedented light on a practice, cheered on by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, that has put the city’s young people of color in the department’s crosshairs.
From Women Make Movies: Following 26-year-old Madison during a crucial three years of her transition from male to female, GIRL INSIDE is a beautiful film that tracks her emotional, intellectual and spiritual journey of self-discovery that is as important as — if not more than — the physical journey of hormones and surgery.
Sharing the spotlight is Vivien, Madison’s glamorous 80-year-old grandmother, who has taken on the job of advising her on all things feminine. While Vivien’s attempts to school Madison in old-fashioned codes of fashion and behavior are often hilarious, the juxtaposition of two vastly different experiences of womanhood, from very different generations, raises profound issues about the nature of gender, femininity and sexuality.