Hailed as hero by some and traitor by others, Chelsea Manning is one of the most important whistleblowers of the 21st century. As Bradley Manning, US soldier and intelligence analyst in Iraq, she disclosed to WikiLeaks classified documents which revealed the scale of civilian casualties resulting from American military intervention and the acts of torture of prisoners. She went through hell while imprisoned in Kuwait and in the US. She also began her gender transition there. Tim Hawkins and his camera accompany Manning since her release. In his visually thoughtful—as if he was constantly looking for sharpness—Hawkins tells the story of a person, who experienced in the most extreme way the limits of public and private. Chelsea claims that there is no connection between the story of a whistleblower and that of transgender person. Do we have the reasons to distrust her and to see her first “outing” a substitute for the second, personal one? Some recipients of Hawkins’s film seem to assume such connection, but are they not misguided by the prejudiced notion of transgender people as “lost” and unpredictable? After all, who else could have enough strength and determination to confront the world’s biggest power—and survive?
Tim Travers Hawkins was born in the UK but worked and studied in Argentina and Colombia. He went to lm school at the world-renowned International Film School (EICTV). He was awarded the Amnesty International ‘Human Rights Cinema Award’ in Paris for his animated lm 1000 Voices, about the refugee crisis in the UK, which also won Best Animation at the Krakow Film Festival and was nominated for the British Animation Awards. His short documentary Surpriseville premiered at HotDocs and was screened at festivals around the world, winning several awards.
2009 1000 głosów / 1000 Voices (short)
2010 Surpriseville (doc. short)
2019 Chelsea XY / XY Chelsea (doc.)