Hot Docs 2014: Lady Valor: The Kristin Beck Story


Lady Valor: The Kristin Beck Story

Special Presentations

For almost twenty years, Navy SEAL Christopher Beck served his country with an almost suicidal desire to be the best and bravest man in his squadron. When his time in the military was over, however, Chris became Kristin, a transgendered woman who often struggled to keep her orientation a secret from her co-workers and family.

Sandrine Orabona and Mark Herzog do a nice job of showcasing how Kristin has become a spokesperson for the potential inclusion of transgendered people in the military (they’re still banned even after the repeal of “don’t ask/don’t tell”) and how her hometown community and friends have respected her service and orientation with open arms. They even get some great anecdotes out of her and gain access to footage that illustrates just how dangerous her job was.


But their main problem is that Kristin is holding back a lot of stuff and the wife and children she left behind are awkwardly not talking about their dad (a final title card hints at possible details that would change the whole film, but they’re blown off almost out of necessity). It’s all a bit off and kind of boilerplate at times, but Kristin is still a fascinating figure in military and LGBT history.

Remaining screenings:

Sunday, May 4th, Bloor Hot Docs Cinema, 4:30pm