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“XY CHELSEA”— A Documentary
“XY Chelsea” is a documentary on whistle-blower Chelsea Manning whose struggle with gender dysphoria coincided with a 35-year prison sentence for revealing state secrets. It was shot over two years by filmmaker Tim Travers Hawkins and features interviews and behind-the-scenes verite’ with Manning. The documentary begins on the day she leaves prison thanks to a sentence commutation from President Obama. The documentary then follows her on a journey of discovery, while also examining her place in the conversation on national security and in the fight of the transgender community for rights and visibility.
Chelsea has been a soldier, a trans woman and a prisoner who has launched an appeal against the US Military, challenging a 35 year sentence given after she leaked almost 700,000 US military and diplomatic documents. She is also undergoing Hormone Replacement Therapy, transitioning to the female gender she has identified with all her life.
We see Chelsea’s fight for her identity: her character, her integrity, and her psychology. What we see is told from Chelsea’s perspective and provides a unique view of one of the most important stories of the 21st century and an ongoing trial that has implications for us all.