This documentary - probably the first cinematic portrait of a trans man - is one of numerous pioneering works by Monika Treut, who is herself an icon of emancipation movements. In this work, Native American Max Wolf Valerio reveals his journey into becoming a different gender. Displaying an extraordinary capacity for self-analysis, he proudly recounts his experiences with the male sex hormone testosterone and talks about the queer community’s hostility towards transsexuals and the adventure of becoming a heterosexual man after having been a lesbian woman. On 11 April 1994, he wrote in a letter to the director: “I want you to know, Monika, that you’ve done a great service with this film to the gender community. There’s so little about FTMs out there that is positive and real. People have thanked me, even coming up to me in the street – total strangers – thanked me for being in the film and now I want to thank YOU! I know that you didn’t create this film to promote gender education or any type of ‘social service’ for its own sake but it has provided hope and inspiration to many who are trying to figure out whether or not they should take the path that I have.”    


  • Runtime

    27 min
  • Country

  • Year of Presentation

  • Year of Production

  • Director

    Monika Treut
  • Cast

    Max Wolf Valerio
  • Production Company

    Hyena Films e.K.
  • Berlinale Section

  • Berlinale Category

Biography Monika Treut

Born in Mönchengladbach, Germany in 1954, she completed a PhD in literature at Marburg in 1984. She began working with video in 1976 and founded Hyena Films with Elfi Mikesch in 1984. Her feature and documentary films have shaped Queer Cinema for over 35 years. The love story Seduction: The Cruel Woman, the sex melodrama Virgin Machine and the comedy My Father is Coming were followed by a series of documentaries including the multi-award-winning trans-futuristic Gendernauts. Her films have featured at the Berlinale 13 times already; in 2017, she received the TEDDY AWARD for her lifetime achievement. She also teaches at universities in California and New York and, since 2018, has been Deputy Professor of Media at the University of Hildesheim.

Filmography Monika Treut

1985 Verführung: Die grausame Frau | 1991 My Father Is Coming | 1992 Dr. Paglia | 1998 Didn't Do It For Love | 2001 Kriegerin des Lichts | 2005 Den Tigerfrauen wachsen Flügel | 2009 Ghosted | 2012 Das Rohe und das Gekochte | 2014 Von Mädchen und Pferden | 2016 Zona Norte