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No Ordinary Man

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Canada · 2020
1h 20m
Director Aisling Chin-Yee
Starring Billy Tipton, Susan Stryker, Kate Bornstein, Zackary Drucker
Genre Documentary

This groundbreaking documentary offers a complex and empathetic portrait of the late Billy Tipton, a 20th-century jazz musician and trans icon whose gender identity was only revealed after his death. It features interviews from a variety of contemporary trans artists who come together to honor his legacy.

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75 by Carlos Aguilar

Co-directors Aisling Chin-Yee and Chase Joynt exalt the professional and personal life of Jazz musician Billy Tipton in No Ordinary Man, and avoid simplification of the trans masculine experience.


TheWrap by Elizabeth Weitzman

A fascinating deconstruction of history, culture, and identity, No Ordinary Man raises so many crucial questions — and answers them so thoughtfully — that it moves beyond entertainment into the realm of essential text. It belongs, equally, in theaters, streaming queues, and classrooms.


San Francisco Chronicle by G. Allen Johnson

There’s one big problem about No Ordinary Man: The Billy Tipton Documentary: It’s not really about Billy Tipton. Instead, it’s about how transgender representation is perceived in the media, chiefly between 1989, when Tipton died, and current times.


Los Angeles Times by Gary Goldstein

This is a compelling, often profound film, one that creatively surmounts its inherent limitations and shines a vital and heartfelt light on being transgender.


The Film Stage by Orla Smith

No Ordinary Man is ultimately a melancholy look at how far things have or have not come for trans people since Billy Tipton’s death.


The New Yorker by Richard Brody

No Ordinary Man challenges the very basis of cultural production, eschewing the familiar accumulation of biographical and historical information and instead questioning the process by which such information is gathered.

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