For more than 15 years, sexual provocateur and fest fixture Monika Treut has been cheerfully championing a laissez-faire approach to pleasures of the flesh in her docus and features ( "The Virgin Machine," "Didn't Do It for Love"), rattling the cages of moralists and militants alike by eschewing politically correct strategies in favor of a more benevolent approach to gender expression.

For more than 15 years, sexual provocateur and fest fixture Monika Treut has been cheerfully championing a laissez-faire approach to pleasures of the flesh in her docus and features ( “The Virgin Machine,” “Didn’t Do It for Love”), rattling the cages of moralists and militants alike by eschewing politically correct strategies in favor of a more benevolent approach to gender expression. She’s at it again in “Gendernauts,” a surprisingly accessible, if maddeningly jargon-heavy, look at “gender elimination phenomena” that focuses on a handful of travelers journeying from female to male.

With title-coining, self-proclaimed “Goddess of Cyberspace” Sandy Stone as gabby guide, Treut trips through the “queer mecca” of San Francisco visiting a variety of sunny, enthusiastic and relentlessly upbeat “cyborgs” and a local rallying point, the Club Confidential. Save a sequence from one of frequent collaborator Annie Sprinkle’s videos in which a sexual interlude with a penile implant goes horribly awry, informative and non-threatening pic will play well to just about anyone brave enough to buy a ticket. What the majority of people on the planet are supposed to do with this knowledge is another question altogether.

Gendernauts

German

Production

A Hyena Films production, in association with WDR/Arte. (International sales: Hyena, Hamburg.) Produced, directed, written by Monika Treut.

Crew

Camera (color) Elfi Mikesch; editor, Eric Schefter; music, Georg Kajanus. Reviewed at Berlin Film Festival (Panorama), Feb. 15, 1999. German and English dialogue. Running time: 85 MIN.

With

Sandy Stone, Jordy Jones, Susan Stryker, Stafford, Texas Tomboy, Tornado, Max Wolf Valerio, Hilda Viloria, Annie Sprinkle.
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