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Georgie Girl

Uplifting docu tells unusual tale of a transsexual who's become a popular member of New Zealand parliament, mostly repping conservative white farmers. Already a hit on gay-fest circuit, "Georgie Girl" is a natural sale to pubcasters everywhere. Pic's gently amused tone, like that of its subject, should have no trouble disarming skeptical or even reactionary auds.

Uplifting docu tells unusual tale of a transsexual who’s become a popular member of New Zealand parliament, mostly repping conservative white farmers. Already a hit on gay-fest circuit, “Georgie Girl” is a natural sale to pubcasters everywhere. Pic’s gently amused tone, like that of its subject, should have no trouble disarming skeptical or even reactionary auds.

How confused Maori boy George Beyer was transformed into a sultry drag queen, sex-club hostess, and award-winning actress before accidentally moving up the ranks of Kiwi politics makes for enthralling, sometimes inspiring viewing. Swiftly moving pic, cleverly assembled by helmers Anne Goldson and Peter Wells, benefits greatly from a wealth of color and B&W TV footage from the 1970s, some depicting Georgina in the early phases of her nightlife and acting careers. This is intercut with scenes from her daily MP sked and recollections of a trip to the country — to take night school classes — that turned into a mayorship and more. Beyer is seen speaking frankly, and hilariously, to parliament. But last word is given to local old-timer, down at the pub, where Georgina is clearly adored, who notes: “She’s a good bloke.”

Georgie Girl

New Zealand

Production: A Women Make Movies presentation of an Annie Goldson (Auckland) production. Produced by Annie Goldson. Co-producer, Catherine Madigan. Directed, written by Annie Goldson, Peter Wells.

Crew: Camera (color/B&W, 16mm/Beta), Craig Wright, others; editor, Eric de Beus; music, Chris Anderton. Reviewed at Hawaii Film Festival, Nov. 2, 2002. Running time: 70 MIN.

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