Lady Valor

2014 | Documentary / Mental Health / Social Issues / Transgender | 84m | USA
Directors: Sandrine Orabona, Mark Herzog

This eloquent CNN documentary explores the courageous and very public transition of Kristin Beck, formerly Christopher, a decorated US Navy Seal who has challenged many peoples’ assumptions of how elite military commandos should be. We meet supportive advocates from her family and military community, as well as voices of opposition to her transition. Compelling footage of Beck’s SEAL unit training illustrates the multiple, near-suicidal operational risks Beck willingly performed when she was pre-transition and deeply unhappy.

The film bears intimate witness to Beck’s pain in coming to terms with her identity while not only on active duty but also having a wife and two young sons—fragile relationships that remain largely uncertain.

Lady Valor—structured as a road trip through Beck’s life as she pilots her motor home across the country—unflinchingly reveals both her indomitable spirit and her indisputable flaws. It is a journey that mirrors the lives of many people who have fought to embrace what they know to be true about themselves despite confining cultural pressures. With unflagging courage and compassion, Kristin Beck redefines social notions of heroism and devotes true service to her country in entirely new, surprising, and transcendent terms.

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Reviews and Awards

Listed on Huffington Post’s “10 Films Every Human Rights Advocate Should Watch”

FOUR STARS! “Lady Valor ultimately sells” —New York Daily News “A powerful documentary” —Huffington Post “Inspiring … her hard-won wholeness challenges each of us to our own gender bravery.” —Psychology Today “Fascinating tale” —The Boston Globe “Comprehensive and compassionate” —Edge, San Francisco