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Red Without Blue
Red Without Blue
Directors: Brooke Sebold, Benita Sills, Todd Sills
Genres: Drama
NR     2007     1hr 14min

Probing the close yet emotionally fraught relationship between two gay identical twins this intimate documentary examines the troubled history of Mark and Alex (which includes a double-suicide attempt) as well as their pro...  more »

     
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Movie Details

Directors: Brooke Sebold, Benita Sills, Todd Sills
Genres: Drama
Sub-Genres: Drama
Studio: Cinema Libre
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 10/02/2007
Original Release Date: 01/01/2007
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2007
Release Year: 2007
Run Time: 1hr 14min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Stunningly Moving!
Robert Whirry | Los Angeles, CA United States | 11/17/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"It's not surprising that Red Without Blue may make some viewers uncomfortable, especially those who are used to films that explore only the struggle and difficulties that transgender people face. And for the first 20 minutes or so of Red Without Blue, you believe that this is exactly the kind of film you are watching. But then, something remarkable begins to happen. This family that has begun the film in a state of chaos and dissention begins, against all expectations, to HEAL. The process is slow, and unfolds in remarkable and unexpected ways. A father who is at first distant and removed slowly rediscovers and comes to re-value the depth of the love he has for his twin sons (one of whom is now becoming his beautiful daughter). A mother who is emotionally brittle and at times even contemptuous of her transgender child gradually comes to accept the new reality that has entered her life, in part through the near-miraculous appearance of another transgender woman in her own Montana town who helps her movingly learn that she is not so much losing a son as gaining a daughter. And two brothers who begin the film having lost the deep connection of love and trust which has bound them together in the past slowly come to rediscover and re-forge that bond.

It's a narrative trajectory that few, if any films exporing the transgender experience have charted before, and you get the feeling that it's one the filmmakers themselves didn't see coming. Yet I believe the story this film tells is also a valid part of the transgender experience - the story of a family initially ripped apart by a new reality that comes to realize that the love that binds them is more important than the changes tearing them apart. That this film becomes a testament to the fact that families CAN heal, and that there are actually some trajectories in life that go upward instead of downward, makes this a film to treasure, and one I found deeply moving."
Fascinating!
Mal Schoen | Northern California | 11/02/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I first viewed this movie at a premiere in San Francisco with the stars and filmmakers in attendance - it was such a fascinating movie that I knew I wanted to own it when it came out on DVD. I ordered it from Amazon and thoroughly enjoyed it again. This story of identical twin boys, one who grew up gay, the other who grew up transsexual and transitioned to becoming female, illuminates an interesting variation on the human experience. Well-made!"
Family Ties
Amos Lassen | Little Rock, Arkansas | 11/30/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

""Red Without Blue"


Family Ties

Amos Lassen and Cinema Pride

The Sundance Channel showed the television premiere of an award winning documentary "Red Without Blue" on June 25, 2007 at 8:00 P.M. Arkansas time. I just finished watching a screener of the film and I was laterally blown away. Here is an intimate as well as heartwarming and touching tale of how family ties last above all else. The documentary follows a family where under most circumstances relationships would be strained to the breaking point. The movie chronicles the close and sometimes distant relationship between identical twins Mark and Alex as Alex is transformed into a woman named Clair. Directed by Brooke Sebold, Benita Sills and Todd Sills, the film is a testament to the value of family in the modern world and does so beautifully.
In 1983, Mark and Alexander Farley were born twins just moments apart in Missoula, Montana. They grew up as all-American kids in an all-American family. They twins had everything--holidays together were joyous, a second home on the lake, parents who loved them and supported them. But by the time they were 14, things changed drastically. Their parents divorced and the twins came out as gay and were partners in a joint suicide attempt. This forced a separation between them for the next two and a half years.
These troubled times are documented through candid and extensive interviews with the twins and their friends and family. The past they shared obviously influenced their efforts to find themselves in the present.
The film then follows Alex who has become Clair and we witness her transition through electrolysis and her ultimate decision to have the full surgery in order to become a woman.
Here is a moving tribute to two kids looking for acceptance and love and each other. Impressively told with a lot of sincerity, this is an extremely moving venture in filmmaking. At several instances in the film, I found myself tearing up as the story unfolded. The title âaeRed Without Blueâ refers to the colors worn by the twins so as to be able to distinguish between the two. The film also beautifully provides an optimistic but heartbreaking look at what one must face as he grows up not only gay in rural Montana but transgender as well. Montana is a place where adversity against gays is not unknown and had it not been for the strength of the family the two would never have survived.
The movie presents interviews alongside of beautiful scenes from the twins' life. Mark was a fine arts student and was familiar with the creation of things of beauty and the directors say that had the intention of making "the film Mark would have made for himself had he been a filmmaker". Interviews are spliced with home movies, family photographs as well as with experimental sequences that both reflect and capture the emotional state of the twins.
As I write this, I am still somewhat reeling from the effect the movie had on me. What a beautiful way to look at the lives of two youth who have survived a great deal of hardship to get to be who they are. Five stars are not quite enough for this movie. It is a true gem."
"Today I am a boy"
Amaranth | Northern California | 07/11/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)

""Red Without Blue" is a powerful documentary about twins--one is a gay man, the other is transitioning to womanhood. Mark and Alex were incredibly close as children. They had the bond of twins,and still do. Mark faces Alex's transition to Claire with difficulty. He has a hard time coming to terms with the fact that his beloved brother is becoming his sister. There's beautiful music from Antony Hegarty of Antony and the Johnsons (Hegarty deems himself transsexual, though he never has had surgery)- The Crying Light,I am a Bird Now,and Antony and the Johnsons. Antony's unearthly, ethereal singing accompanies the documentary. He powerfully sings, "Today I am a boy, one day I will be a beautiful woman."

"Red without Blue" also faces darker subjects such as drug addiction and suicide attempts. The twins' parents divorced when they were young. Their mother now lives with another woman who shares her bed, considers her a great friend--but refuses to call herself a lesbian. In a sense, it's no surprise the twins struggle with their identities.

"Red without Blue" is a fascinating exploration of family, family history, and gender identity."