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Call Me Malcolm

Those who'd normally wrinkle their noses at a documentary about transgender persons would be the ideal audience for "Call Me Malcolm," whose post-op female-to-male protagonist is so down-to-earth, nonthreatening and wholesome that even fusty conservative viewers might undergo an attitude change.

With:
With: Malcolm, Matt Kailey, Calpernia Addams, Stephan Thorne, Miss Major Griffin-Gracy.

Those who’d normally wrinkle their noses at a documentary about transgender persons would be the ideal audience for “Call Me Malcolm,” whose post-op female-to-male protagonist is so down-to-earth, nonthreatening and wholesome — plus he’s a seminary student! — that even fusty conservative viewers might undergo an attitude change. Co-produced by the subject’s church, this fine feature takes its cue from Malcolm’s personality, treating material in a refreshingly earnest, straightforward terms sans flash or preachiness. Gay fest travel is assured, with educational use by progressive schools and ministries following.

Malcolm, nee Miriam (last name withheld), is a 27-year-old Colorado resident who’d always felt profoundly displaced in a female body. Sustained by faith, he finally underwent “the change” via surgery and other procedures. Adjusting to this new reality, he travels to visit others with similar stories. Most poignant are meetings with Pauline Mitchell, whose cross-dressing Navajo son was murdered for being “different,” and Calpernia Addams, whose b.f. Barry Winchell was infamously killed by fellow Army enlistees for dating a transsexual. Overall, though, perspectives are upbeat. Handsome landscape photography underlines the tacit message that Malcolm is an all-American boy-next-door (albeit with a difference).

Call Me Malcolm

Production: A Filmworks, United Church of Christ production. Produced by Joe Parlagreco. Executive producers, William R. Johnson, Robert Chase, Michael D. Schuenmeyer, Eric C. Smith. Directed by Joe Parlagreco.

Crew: Camera (color, video), Parlagreco; editor, Kierra Chase; music, Andrew Sherman. Reviewed at San Francisco Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, June 20, 2005. Running time: 90 MIN.

With: With: Malcolm, Matt Kailey, Calpernia Addams, Stephan Thorne, Miss Major Griffin-Gracy.

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