LOS ANGELES, CA – The breadth covered in Epoch’s original production Gender Transformation: The Untold Realities, is nothing short of impressive. Every angle of devils advocacy around a movement that is rarely questioned was covered, from secret clubs subverting parents in schools to medical malpractice to personal stories that will make you tear up. Bigger dynamics like peer pressure to protocols in mental health that ignore root causes and problems were also treated in this concise 90 minute docudrama with interviews and re-enactments.
The most powerful re-enactments of which was a specific case, that of Los Angeles based Abigail Martinez, whose 19 year old daughter Yaeli, tragically ended her own life by jumping in front of a train. This was a result of years of untreated depression’s underlying causes and being sold happiness under the “acceptance” of school, teachers and later, the state of California. The movie’s end credits are dedicated to her life and story. If this docudrama can bring light to this sad case alone which mainstream media ignored completely, it would do its job.
Thankfully the movie follows the arc of that story, peppered with commentary and interviews with experts in the field who question the practices of their respective industries from mental health to education to medical practitioners. This was effectively executed in the short time frame, never becoming tedious or repetitive.
The stories of 3 detransitioning young adults, 2 female and 1 male, were also sprinkled in throughout. The three brave individuals spoke to the sad realities of lack of support, such as the ostracization from the communities that once celebrated them for their decisions to go back to their birth gender but more shockingly the medical professionals who saw no financial windfall from an ideology that provided their gravy train. They were left to dry even with legitimate calls for help around all the resulting health issues.
The most gut-wrenching moments include stories about the medical damage done, from lack of feeling in their chest areas to trouble urinating. These are only touched upon, but enough to pique interest for one to research for further depth.
The filmmaker was well versed in the phenomenon and avoided cliches. Director/producer Tobias Elvhage comments, “I chose to direct and produce this film after watching a shorter investigative documentary made by Swedish Television called The Trans Children. Through this program I got to understand how badly puberty blockers and cross hormones can affect children. The more I investigated, the more I saw that this had become a sensitive and even political subject, and I wanted to understand the mechanisms behind.”
Ultimately, the movie does its best to explore and delve into the root cause but does not find it as no one has all the answers. We all are still understanding the phenomenon whether from the inside or the outside.
A scene in a therapy session featured poignant questions. “Will you truly be happy if you transition?” That is an uncomfortable question that is rarely asked when there is a barrage of corporate advertising and communities “yasslighting” everyone into believing this is the holy grail to happiness without discussing the medical realities or seeing a big picture of political and corporate entities sowing division between parents and children.
Gender Transformation will debut on EpochTV on June 19 and will have its theatrical debut at the Manhattan Film Festival on June 16.
The trailer can be seen here: Gender Transformation: The Untold Realities | Official Trailer | EpochTV