Piece Comment

Review of Justin on the Inside

Yet another interesting production from Salt. This brief documentary tells the story of a person, named Amy, who feels s/he is a man trapped in a woman's body. S/he takes the name of "Justin" and lives life, as much as possible, as a man.

The doc is an interesting collection of self-observations, anecdotes, and stories. Most interesting, Amy/Justin doesn't consider him/herself a lesbian and, though painfully passionate about living as a man, isn't interested in sexual reassignment surgery. S/he compares him/herself to others who bear physical deformities or diseases: the feminine physical characteristics are no different than someone born with a misshapen arm or suffering from MS. Amy/Justin is a sincere person and disarmingly honest--and his/her openness is well-captured here.

While the program does a good job of providing an overview of Amy/Justin's life (and the challenges of that life), it doesn’t offer much context. While a listener would find the situation interesting and enlightening, such a straight forward profile doesn't offer enough to keep a busy person's attention for eight minutes--there has to more of a reason to listen. A bit less detail, replaced with a deeper penetration of why Amy/Justin's story is important, would go a long way.