XY Chelsea

XY Chelsea

Tim Travers Hawkins (2019)

93min
15 Certificate
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Review

Our Score
Although Chelsea Manning is the world's most (in)famous whistleblower, she gives precious little away in this intimate, but gnomic portrait. Perhaps being given an easy ride was one of the conditions of affording multimedia artist Tim Travers Hawkins exclusive access to Manning in the period after her release from Fort Leavenworth in May 2017. She had been pardoned by President Barack Obama for releasing 750,000 classified and/or sensitive documents to WikiLeaks while serving as an intelligence analyst for the US Army in Iraq. Snippets are shared about Bradley Manning's troubled childhood with hard-drinking parents, Chelsea's decision to declare herself a trans woman and the battles with depression that she has endured after being exposed to the vitriol of those who consider her actions treacherous rather than heroic. Occasionally, the camera catches an unguarded moment of vulnerability, as the enormity of Manning's hellish situation sinks in. But Hawkins is too much in thrall to the audio-visual style employed by executive producer Laura Poitras on her profiles of Edward Snowden (Citizenfour, 2014) and Julian Assange (Risk, 2016), while lacking her insight and incision.

Cast & Crew

Chelsea Manning Chelsea Manning
Director Tim Travers Hawkins

Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: DogwoofGuidance: Swearing. Released on: 24 May 2019