Let Me Die a Woman

Let Me Die a Woman | Doris Wishman | US 1977 | 79 Min | DCP

(S)exploitation pioneer Doris Wishman turns her attention to the subject of transsexuality in the only shockumentary of her career. Interviews with people affected and activists as well as a lecture by Dr. Leo Wollman, an authority on the subject at the time, are peppered with soft sex scenes, close-ups of genitals, and footage of a gender reassignment operation—which gave the movie its notoriety—in the style of sensationalist sex-ed films. Let Me Die a Woman is real and pseudo, educational and reactionary, reprehensible and bold and, at any rate, unforgettable.

Doris Wishman
(* 1912, † 2002) was a self-taught writer, director, and independent producer. Referred to by many as the “female Ed Wood,” she was one of very few women grindhouse-circle filmmakers during the 1960s and ’70s. Films like Nude on the Moon (1961, from her nudist period), Bad Girls Go to Hell (1965, sexploitation), her semi-documentary Let Me Die a Woman (1977), or her horror slasher A Night to Dismember (1983) brought her a cult following during the 1990s. This allowed her to make another three movies shortly before her death, including the neo-sexploitation Satan Was a Lady, which is not to be confused with Wishman’s 1975 hardcore pornographic film of the same title.
Language eOV
Cast Dr. Leo Wollman, Deborah Hartin, and others
Writer Doris Wishman
Editing Lou Burdi
Cinematography João Fernandes