Let Me Die a Woman
Director: Doris Wishman
Let Me Die a Woman is a dramatized pseudo-documentary made by cult soft porn director Doris Wishman (1912-2002) in 1972. The subject is transsexuals, both male and female, who want to make / have done a sex change operation. The film wasn't released until 1978.
The films mixes educational scenes with dramatizations of real events with soft porn. All through the film Dr. Leo Wollman, a sex change specalist, guides us through transsexual group meetings, interviews and even a sex change operation.
The film was rejected by UK cinema, and wasn't released there until 1982, more than 10 minutes shorter.
Let Me Die a Woman is really interesting, amusing and bizarre. Of course you have to realize that it isn't a documentary in the true meaning of the word. The transsexuals and the operations are real, but they obviously had a script to read from. It would be sad otherwise, if they always sounded like bad actors when speaking. I will return to the fascinating woman Doris Wishman in later posts, the woman who often is called "the female Ed Wood".
Most of her films made during the 1960's and 1970's were made for the American sexploitation film market. All self learned she used the camera in an innovative way, experimenting with angles, close-ups and cutting. In that way she had far more talent than earlier mentioned Ed Wood.
She was one of the most prolific female directors through cinema history and was making films until her death. Her last finished film was Satan Was a Lady (2001). On her death bed she said that she would continue making films in hell.
Leslie, a Puerto Rican transsexual, tells us about her difficult childhood and the becoming of a woman.
Dr. Wollman tells us the story about the man who couldn't afford a sex change operation, and in his desperation tried to do it himself. With a hammer and chisel.