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Becoming Chaz (2011)

Chaz Bono , Cher , Fenton Bailey , Randy Barbato  |  NR |  DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Chaz Bono, Cher, Jennifer Elia
  • Directors: Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Virgil Films and Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: November 29, 2011
  • Run Time: 80 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005IAAQN8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #124,417 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Chaz Bono was a male trapped in a female shell for as long as he can remember. Growing up as Sonny and Cher's adorable golden-haired daughter in a body he felt wasn't his own was a crucible it took years to transcend. Now, as he undertakes gender reassignment, he's bravely decided to share the process on camera. Becoming Chaz invites us along on Chaz's remarkable journey of transformation. As hormone shots give way to top surgery, down-to-earth, unflappable Chaz beams with a sense of liberation and goes public with his story to put a face on a misunderstood issue. Meanwhile, his gregarious girlfriend grapples with the realities of suddenly living with a man, and it's clear sex change isn't solely a physical transition. Intimate and nakedly honest, the film reveals the humanity and courage it takes for Chaz to ultimately embrace his true self. His moving struggle will reverberate profoundly for anyone to whom authenticity matters.

Nominated for 3 Emmy Awards: Outstanding Directing for Nonfiction Programming, Outstanding Nonfiction Special and Outstanding Picture Editing for Nonfiction Programming.


"Becoming Chaz is a real-life look inside the home and hearts of two brave and glorious individuals. Told with finesse, compassion and wit... will hit nerves and touch hearts." --The Hollywood Reporter

"Wildly Engaging." --Los Angeles Times

"An engaging and educational look at one person's journey to make his outsides match his inside." --AOL Moviefone

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
"Becoming Chaz" is certainly one of higher profile documentary efforts to be released in the last year. Promoted extensively in the media by Oprah Winfrey (its television premiere was on her network) and Rosie O'Donnell, the film tells the personal story of Chastity Bono as she goes through gender reassignment surgery to become a man. It's an intriguing subject handled with candor. Putting a celebrity face on the issue certainly might make the topic more visible to those unaccustomed to such things and, in my mind, a little education and mind expansion is always good! I don't think that I have to say that Chastity (now Chaz) Bono is the offspring of Sonny Bono and Cher and has always been reluctantly in the spotlight. Her trials and tribulations have been documented by the press though the years, and it seems that this documentary was an effort to put this life changing story out to the public on her own terms. In as much, this is a successful exploration of the psychological process that brought her to such a momentous decision.

Shot largely in a home movie style (no glossy production here), most of the film spends time with Chaz and his girlfriend. The two have shared some hardships, but both speak with clarity and honesty when it comes to the upcoming procedures. The movie gets up close with hormone treatments and even documents the time period in which Chaz's chest is altered to be more masculine. The movie is at its strongest when dealing with the specific transitional adjustments--both physically and emotionally for the duo. We also get some reactions and interviews with family and friends. Cher does participate in a limited fashion.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Touching, honest and heart opening September 5, 2011
Interesting documentary about Chastity Bono's sex change to become Chaz
Bono. It deals well with the complexities of life for both the
transgendered, and for the children of very famous people.

Quite touching and informative, it makes the still uneasy and confusing
(for many) subject of sex re-assignment far more human, and
understandable on both a technical (how does it work?) and - more
important - emotional level.

It also doesn't shy away from the hard parts (e.g. the difficult
personality changes brought on in Chaz by his intense hormone therapy).
Chaz is allowed to look self-centered, and even like a jerk at times,
without it impeding on our sympathy or identification. He's just a
person, like all of us, which is the whole point.

While the film-making itself can be uneven, this is the kind of film
that helps people open their hearts and minds to those who seem
'different'. And that is always a worthwhile thing.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome November 9, 2011
By Brandon
I'm a 39 year old FTM and learned a lot by watching Becoming Chaz. I have been on T for over 2 years but found this to be very helpful.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Well done documentary September 1, 2014
By Beth
Well done documentary. Covers many of the angles of the transition including the main character, his girlfriend, friends and family. I would have liked a bit more depth on Chaz and the awareness and identity issues, but perhaps that depth just couldn't be evoked. The depictions of the challenges and the effects and involvement of others do a nice job showing how such situations are complex human matters affecting a number of people. The surrounding family and friends are explored very well and in a balanced way, and it seems the director had a knack for helping everyone feel comfortable in order to get candid portrayals. Chaz comes through as a human who, like all humans, has a share of wounds that need healing, thus providing a universal theme for the film.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good documentary March 17, 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
It is a real story about someone who goes through a transgender operation. It is not only about the surgical procedures but the emotional transition as well.
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