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Special Message from Kate Davis, Director of Southern Comfort.
This June marks the 40th Anniversary of the Stonewall riots. In June of 1969, for the first time, transgendered and gay youth fought back against the police because they were fed up with oppression, and many felt they had nothing to lose by risking their lives and throwing bricks at the establishment. To the amazement of many during those violent nights, they found they had a collective voice. This grew into the annual Gay Pride parades which continue across the world, all testaments to the power of speaking out.
These themes of courage and stepping out of the closet were also the backbone of Southern Comfort. When I met Robert Eads at a conference for transgendered men, I found myself living with a very hidden minority, hidden because they pass so well as men, and hidden to protect themselves against the daily perils of living as a transperson in a world which still persecutes them and makes every day a dangerous prospect.
The men in Southern Comfort were fine living their regular lives, and hardly jumped at the chance to be part of a documentary. In fact, Robert himself resisted for months, and one day called to tell me that he was up for it. That he would be dead by the time the film would be finished. And so we all started to help tell Robert's extraordinary tale of being a transman, a parent, a shotgun-toting guy who can pass for a classic Redneck from rural Georgia, and as someone who was falling in love during the final year of his life. During the filming, I began to hear one recurring idea: the importance of accepting oneself. From that comes the strength to live a more honest life, and from that comes the chance to open up the hearts and minds of others.
And so the six main people in Southern Comfort, most of whom had survived rejection from their families, friends, employers, and the medical world, decided it was time to speak out and let others know how that feels. That they are human too. Many times at the end of a shoot, I would fly back from Atlanta feeling inspired by their strength - wouldn't it be great if we all could simply accept ourselves? - but also I felt outraged that such prejudice still exists and continues to kill.
Southern Comfort has, since then, reached millions of people around the world. There was even a town in rural Japan which celebrated "Robert Eads Day." Those in the film now know they did a lot to help break down stereotypes about those society condemns for being different. In a quieter way, the film reflects the spirit which was needed to ignite the Stonewall riots. Enough hiding. Time to be on an equal footing with everyone else. In the end, this isn't a story of GLBT rights or transgendered rights, but of human rights.- Kate Davis, Director, Southern Comfort
Stills from Southern Comfort (Click for larger image)
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- Deleted scenes
- Cast interviews
- Exclusive photo gallery
- Filmmaker statement
Top Customer Reviews
I also recommend the bonus features on this DVD, especially the additional footage of Robert that had been cut from the final film. The additional footage gives more background on how Robert attempted to seek treatment for his cancer and was denied. He also says some touching things about his parents and their acceptance of Robert's life.
Give this film a chance, and it will open your heart as well as your mind. Please see it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Amazing documentary but a correction should be made. Robert Eads died of ovarian cancer, NOT cervical cancer. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Joey
Great documentary about the last year of a Transman's life. Robert Eads was certainly one of a kind!!! Have a handkerchief ready.Published 11 months ago by C. Bonham
ground breaking. This film opened the door for Trans people. It certainly shifted my viewpoint from "wierdos" to "humans".Published 13 months ago by D. Zander
Good for nursing simulation on caring for transgender patients and understand their perspectivePublished 19 months ago by Dawn Koonkongsatian