Tribeca Film Review: ‘Xy Chelsea’

  • Variety
Tribeca Film Review: ‘Xy Chelsea’
With the imprecisely assembled “Xy Chelsea,” multimedia artist-cum-filmmaker Tim Travers Hawkins makes a bold yet mostly fruitless attempt to tell the infamous whistleblower Chelsea Manning’s remarkable story. While it’s hardly Hawkins’ error that his documentary feels unfinished — the self-defined activist’s dramatic saga is still unfolding as we speak — you can’t help but feel his unprecedented access to Manning should have emanated a portrait a lot more enlightening.

This is not to say Hawkins doesn’t give a sincere shot to understanding his complex subject. Born in Oklahoma in 1987 and raised by heavy-drinking parents, the former U.S. Army soldier and intelligence analyst Manning was arrested in 2010 for leaking thousands of sensitive documents, a decision she made after witnessing a series of war crimes in Iraq. During her jail time of seven years, she came out as a trans woman and was released in 2017 upon a Presidential pardon
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