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HBO's The Lady and the Dale presents a subject who's a gift to documentary filmmakers

  • "Throughout her long, madcap and utterly singular life, Elizabeth Carmichael boasted a talent for remaking reality," says Inkoo Kang. "Carmichael had little use for the way things were — not when it came to her body, nor to America’s ailing car industry of the 1970s. Her knack for making the world see things her way led her to pursue a gender transition in the late ‘60s, seemingly with no other trans people around to give support or advice. A decade later, that same force of will led to her highly publicized claim that she would create and mass-produce a three-wheeled, fuel-efficient car that would save the country from the oil crisis — a pipe dream that helped her bilk millions from investors.  fabulist, an inventor, an Ayn Rand-worshipping libertarian, a queer pioneer and a doting parent of five (and several more children she abandoned or never bothered to meet), the exquisitely complicated Carmichael is, among so many other things, a gift to documentary filmmakers. With HBO’s The Lady and the Dale, directors Nick Cammilleri and Zackary Drucker (a consultant and cast member on Transparent) do right by their subject’s multitudes, presenting a rollicking and twist-filled bio-doc in four parts that doesn’t shy from Carmichael’s many flaws while supplying ample context for the transgender experience a half-century ago. TV’s longform documentaries are seldom so illuminating, or entertaining."


    TOPICS: The Lady and the Dale, HBO, Documentaries