Release Date: October 7th, 2005 (NYC-Quad Cinema) by Seventh Art Releasing. Directed by Daniel Peddle.
BASIC PREMISE: A documentary about “aggressives”, lesbians who dress and act like men.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: This documentary takes a look at the lives of many “aggressive” women in New York City. Early in the film, it is clear how “Aggressives” are different from “drag kings”: the women dress up and act like macho men. It is amazing how a few changes, such as strapping down their breasts and cutting their hair, they unflinchingly look like real men. Director Daniel Peddle has created a very provocative and stylish documentary. It is stylish because of the cinematography and a few scenes with fast-paced editing that bring out a lot of energy. Also, the scenes are structured with titles that roughly explain what the scene will be about without revealing too much. Each aggressive interviewed is unafraid to discuss their experiences and thoughts. There is an interesting segment with Flo, who is the only Asian-American aggressive among the majority of Latino and African-American population of Aggressives. It would have been nice to have at least one very intimate portrayal of one of these Aggressives. It is also unclear if Aggressives have formed in other cities in the U.S. or around the world. However, it does to a very good job of defining a very unique and provocative subculture.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: Many thought-provoking issues are raised, but not many of them are discussed enough to be insightful. For example, it is unclear how race factors into the Aggressive lifestyle. This film does capture the essence of the Aggressives, but fails to put them in a larger perspective within the context of society as a whole. However, it does address society’s definition “gender” by showing that there is a lot of grey area in terms whether one is a male or a female. The primary message is that defining gender is not as important as to having the right to express yourself freely.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: None.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 1
THE BOTTOM LINE: A stylish, energetic documentary film that provides a very interesting snapshot of a provocative subculture that redefines the gender boundaries of society.
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater (1st Run)
The "A" Menu