Berlinale: Programme

Film File

Panorama 40


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This documentary - probably the first cinematic portrait of a trans man - is one of numerous pioneering works by Monika Treut, who is herself an icon of emancipation movements. In this work, Native American Max Wolf Valerio reveals his journey into becoming a different gender. Displaying an extraordinary capacity for self-analysis, he proudly recounts his experiences with the male sex hormone testosterone and talks about the queer community’s hostility towards transsexuals and the adventure of becoming a heterosexual man after having been a lesbian woman.
On 11 April 1994, he wrote in a letter to the director: “I want you to know, Monika, that you’ve done a great service with this film to the gender community. There’s so little about FTMs out there that is positive and real. People have thanked me, even coming up to me in the street – total strangers – thanked me for being in the film and now I want to thank YOU! I know that you didn’t create this film to promote gender education or any type of ‘social service’ for its own sake but it has provided hope and inspiration to many who are trying to figure out whether or not they should take the path that I have.”

Monika Treut

Germany 1992


Documentary form
27’ · Colour · 2K DCP


Max Wolf Valerio


Written and directed by
Monika Treut
Steve Brown
Steve Brown
Kate Pourshiarti, Caren Bierman
Monika Treut


Monika Treut

Born in Mönchengladbach, Germany in 1954, she completed a PhD in literature at Marburg in 1982. She began working with video in 1976 and founded Hyena Films with Elfi Mikesch in 1984. She has directed many award-winning films about feminism, gender, sexuality and human rights in countries including the USA, Brazil and Taiwan. After her 1991 comedy My Father is Coming, she made a series of documentaries including The Raw and the Cooked which screened in the Culinary Cinema in 2012; Zona Norte screened in Panorama in 2016. In 2017 she received a Teddy Award for her lifetime achievement.

Filmography (selection)

1985 Verführung: Die grausame Frau (Seduction: The Cruel Woman); co-director: Elfi Mikesch; Forum 1988 Die Jungfrauenmaschine (Virgin Machine); Forum 1989 Annie; short documentary; Panorama 1991 My Father is Coming; Panorama 1992 Max; short documentary; Panorama · Female Misbehavior; documentary · Dr. Paglia; short documentary; Panorama 1998 Didn't Do It for Love; documentary; Panorama 1999 Gendernauts – A Journey Through Shifting Identities; documentary; Panorama 2001 Kriegerin des Lichts (Warrior of Light); documentary; Panorama 2005 Den Tigerfrauen wachsen Flügel (Tigerwomen Grow Wings); documentary; Panorama 2009 Ghosted; Panorama 2012 Das Rohe und das Gekochte (The Raw and the Cooked); documentary; Kulinarisches Kino 2014 Von Mädchen und Pferden (Of Girls and Horses) 2016 Zona Norte; documentary; Panorama

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2019

Produced by

Hyena Films

World sales

Hyena Films