Transgender Controversy at Tribeca Film Fest

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Transgender advocates rally against TFF's film Ticked Off Trannies With Knives. (Ashley Love)

The Tribeca Film Festival lists the film Ticked Off Trannies With Knives as a "revenge fantasy flick that brews up a concoction of camp, slasher horror, and power-chick flick to create a radical new genre: Transploitation!"

The film's director Israel Luna stated he intended the film to be empowering, members of New York's transgender community, along with GLAAD, certainly don't think so. They asked the film festival to pull the film from its lineup.  Listen to WNYC's Janaya Williams report on the debate.

Critics have compared it to Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill. The plot poses five transgender women in lead roles seeking a gruesome revenge on their attackers. On opening night of the festival, members of MAGNET (Media Advocates Gaining National Equality for Trans people) held an "educational rally" criticizing the film's depictions of transgender women.

Here's a clip from the controversial film:

Another film in the festival features a junior-high hermaphrodite named Spork - who, while subjected to constant teasing by a gaggle of mean girls, finds support in a network of fellow outcasts. Here's a clip of writer/director J.B. Ghuman, Jr.

The film Elvis & Madona tells the tail of a drag performer and a lesbian photographer living in Rio De Janeiro. The director of the film, Marcelo Laffitte, states the film "presents itself as a film born from those moments of identity, affirmation, and understanding of differences."


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Comments [5]

Scott from NYC

Have any of the people complaining about/protesting "Ticked Off Trannies With Knives" actually *seen* the film? No? I didn't think so. And yet people complain that the movie is "shameful" and sends a bad "message."

Some folks were so agitated that they apparently called in bomb threats to the film festival, which had to bring in bomb-sniffing dogs to check the theaters in which the film was screened. Are these the same people who call for more tolerance and free exchange of ideas and viewpoints in society? Ironic, to say the least.

The behavior of these people isn't any better than that of the right-wing Christians who protested and made threats against Scorsese's "The Last Temptation of Christ" - again, without actually seeing the film.

May. 06 2010 12:17 PM
Ellen W. from Stow Ohio.

Taking self defense courses as a group would be self empowering. Taking a concealed carry class as a group would be empowering. Applying for a concealed carry permit together would be self empowering. Going to court as a group to watch the trial of a attacker of a member of the group would be empowering. Setting up a local support group to make sure that every one has someone to go out with (there is safety in numbers) is empowering. Killing in revenge leaving already over worked police with another crime to solve is asking to end up in prison for the rest of your life

Apr. 29 2010 11:57 AM
Vito from Brooklyn, NY


Actually, many of the actresses are, in fact, trans. The movie itself is about trans- people fighting back. How is that not empowering? I guess we should make movies about trans- people just taking the beatings and harassment.

Apr. 29 2010 10:08 AM
Trever from Los Angeles

I can see why the transgender women are protesting. Im not even transgender, but the message the film sends is that they are dudes in dresses, not real transgender women. We need to not forget our transgender sisters and brothers. They are part of our LGBT community too. Shameful movie.

Apr. 29 2010 02:42 AM
Mary Rhodes

Glad to see the transgender community fighting back.

Apr. 29 2010 01:13 AM

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