Innovative documentary storytelling is fully featured in the movie Chase Joint framing agnespart of Hot Docs 2022, revealing interviews conducted at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) with a number of transgender individuals, part of a Harold Garfinkel research study in the 1950s.
This genre-bending story is a re-enactment of these interviews with mutant stars Angelica Ross (pointing to), Zachary Drucker (transparent), Jane Richards (her story), Silas Howard (baby like Jake), Max Wolfe Valerio (Testosterone Profiles) and the son of Annette Benning Stephen Ira. Director Joynt personally takes on the role of interviewer Garfinkel in the film.
Agnes, Drucker paraphrasing her interview, participated in Garfinkel’s gender health research as a way to access the gender affirmation care she was seeking. Until 2017, she was believed to be the only participant in this search, until eight never-before-seen files were uncovered, stuck in an old, sealed filing cabinet.
The interviews are coupled with the more traditional documentary structure of moments from one-on-one interviews with the participants, but most notably historian Dr. Jules Gill Peterson.
“We understood that the project was a challenge to the format of the documentary itself,” Joynt said. Yahoo Canada. “It took a kind of trust and a kind of investment in experimentation, that is, how do we prepare everyone for success?”
“I feel like there were moments I wasn’t quite sure where this was going, but I trusted the process,” adds writer Morgan M. Page. “I think the final structure was a monster that’s constantly evolving and transforming throughout our creative process, really.”
While Joynt supervised the structural construction of framing agnesThe actors who participated in this documentary were required to come up with a comprehensive mission. Not only did they recreate these characters, they also opened up about their own personal experiences.
“It’s a very unusual question because it challenges the boundaries of what we might understand as a traditional selection process,” Jowent said. “We deliberately sought out our friends, colleagues, and collaborators in the community who we knew had a real connection and resonance with the historical themes in which they inhabit and perform.”
“It was also an ongoing process with the actors in the movie, where Chase and I might have had some ideas about things we’d like to talk about, and then we started setting up and figured out that, in fact, they don’t have limits there,” Page added.
“We had to think in a really graceful way together, and with them, about the kinds of stories we would be telling through this project, which I think is a really interesting rebuke to the history of ephemera documentary where subjects are often given little agency about how their stories are portrayed, or what aspects their stories focus on. “.
‘Almost impossible’ for transgender people to ‘get out of sight’
In terms of the discussion about cross-vision, framing agnes Really makes use of how and why questions are asked, including assessing people in authority and the systemic structures that determine who is visible and who can be seen.
“I think that as producers of cross-culture and defined as immersed in conversations about the politics of representation and the politics of vision, we get tired of the routine ways in which it is expressed, and so we knew from the start that our project was to ask a different set of questions,” Chase Joint said. “What does it mean to think of opacity and think of privacy as necessary patterns of political protection?”
“It’s possible to make these kinds of critiques because we’re actually making a project that’s going tails to what people understand as a transgender tipping point and where there’s been a kind of surge in a conversation about visibility, we’re going to say, ‘Wait a second, not so fast. So, what else is there?”
Morgan M Page added that it is now “almost impossible” for transgender people “to break out of the vision and politics of representation.”
“What our film deals with and the communities we live in is the fact that not all vision and acting are positive for transgender people,” Page said. “We’re the most visible right now after we’ve been and more vulnerable than ever, and I think we’re trying to shine a light on that.”
“What is the right to be invisible?”
By Jules Gill-Peterson, we are guided through this fascinating story that expands the framework of fleeting history and a fleeting vision that has been constrained by a narrow lens, so to speak. It’s Jill Peterson’s way of interpreting and analyzing this archival information, relating it to the most up-to-date gems of touch, and adds an impressive level of dynamism that pulls you in.
Jill Peterson says in framing agnes. “For people whose vision puts them in jeopardy, I don’t know why we don’t ask them so often, What would they feel if they were left alone? What is the right to be invisible?”
A particularly compelling story in framing agnes It is the story of Georgia (Angelica Ross), which highlights the intersection of black transgender individuals.
“The reality is that we live in a world dominated by stories told by whites and by the people who have the most power within white communities,” says actress Angelica Ross. “We have heard the story told by the hunter and not by the lion, and not by the lions who not only resisted but escaped.”
“How many other stories do we know nothing about?”
Jill Peterson states in framing agnes It is “hard to sit with Georgia”.
“I think a lot was put on her shoulders at the time, and so we caught up with her in that context, and there’s a lot we can do, we’re not there,” Jill Peterson says in the documentary.
Far from the initial surprise to find brilliant black, educational, well-spoken, and cultivated nineteenth-century trans women talking back to Garfinkel, moreover, there are some really hard questions about what she let slip about what her life really is, and in what way She tries to encapsulate it for him so that he can understand, because there is a colored line separating them.”
Morgan M. Page believes there is a “responsibility” to speak of trans history as more than just white women, which she highlights primarily on how this history is discussed.
“There is an incredible amount of damage done when we imagine a person being alone in any given place historically, or in the contemporary moment, and structurally in the film, we understand that while Georgia is the only black person in the archival collection we found in the filing cabinet Those,…Georgia was by no means the only black woman who roamed these spaces,” added Chase Joint.
“Trans people are not the exception and CIS people are not the status quo”
For fans watching framing agnesChase Joint and Morgan M Page hope not only to take this as a moment in history, but to think about how we use history today.
“I hope people can take that away and think about their own investments in history that they’ve heard about. Why do they care about it? What does that mean to them, and how might they misuse it sometimes?” Page said.
“Trans people are not the exception and CIS people are not the status quo, [we] All of them actually account for problems of gender, problems of misogyny, patriarchy, racism and institutional violence.”
“If we approach that with a shared understanding that we are all involved, and we de-exclude transgender people, and thus shift the responsibility off their shoulders as agents of social change, … we will have a very different conversation about where we are and where we are going.”
Framing Agnes will be shown as part of Hot Docs 2022 online for five days starting May 2.