Man Made Review

By Liselotte Vanophem

Sometimes when we look in the mirror, we see something we don’t like. Whether it’s too big, too small or just there where it shouldn’t be. If you feel that you’re born into the wrong body this feeling is heightened even more. Not only because of the medical treatments you have to go through but also because of the prejudices the society has when it comes to being transgender.

With his new documentary “Man Made”, director T Cooper (“The Beaufort Diaries”) wants to show us that no matter who you are, how you see yourself, how hard life gets, you can achieve your dreams!

What made “Man Made” such a unique documentary is that it isn’t only about transgender people but also about how they all prepare themselves to participate at the Trans FitCon competition.

It’s a bodybuilding competition for people who identifies themselves as male, no matter whether you’re born as a man or not. We follow four people who make this extraordinary journey.

The first transgender we meet is Dominic from St. Paul who’s about to have the most important surgery of his life. His breasts are being removed and he will finally have his dream body. It won’t only have an impact on his own life but also the ones of his partner Thea, his friends and family.

Don’t get us started how this will impact his chances of winning the Trans FitCon competition. Director T Cooper and Dominic take you on an emotional rollercoaster full of high and lows and there’s room for love, friendship, doubts, sadness and even an emotional reunion with his long lost family.

Whose days are also dominated by transiting from a woman to a man and participating at the Trans Fitcon competition is the 40-year-old Mason. From him starting to take testosterone to him gaining more confidence at the gym and finally able to show himself during the competition.

We don’t only see him working out intensively but also what other preparations it takes to be ready for the most important day of the year. From buying the right clothes to following a strict diet. During the preparations, he gets the biggest support from his wife, family, and friends.

While the lives of Dominic and Mason seems to be full of light and love, the one of Reese isn’t. After coming out as transgender, he became homeless because ohis mum kicked him out. It was even worse for him because due to his transition, he wasn’t able to go to a shelter.

However, there’s still a little bit of affection thanks to his son, his grandparents and his newfound transgender partner. Which impact will this have on his participation in the competition?

Last but certainly not least, there’s also Kennie who was born as Arian. After transforming his body through very hard work and long sessions at the gym, he decided to become a personal trainer. Not only his clients but also his girlfriend, family, and friends just one want thing: For him to be happy.

That happiness will come soon as Kennie is about to get his first testosterone shot. Sadly, this will also change the life of his girlfriend who might find it hard to adapt to Kennie’s new body. Will their relationship be strong enough?

This is just how we meet those four amazing people but throughout the documentary, you will find out how their lives are affecting even more due to their transition.

Love in the relationship might not be as strong as the couple thinks, the family might not be as supportive as they hoped and the preparation might not go as planned. Will these four astonishing people reach the Trans FitCon competition and will they win?

After touring the world and appearing at more than 75 festivals, “Man Made” has now finally got its worldwide release and you should check it out.

First of all, because every film or documentary about transgenders should deserve the respect and attention it can get because sadly there aren’t still enough features made about this topic.

For director T Cooper it was extremely important to tell these outstanding stories because ‘we as trans guys feel that three-dimensional, honest portraits of our lives are still sorely lacking in the transgender storytelling landscape.’

Another reason why you should see this movie is that it’s incredibly brave of those four extraordinary people to put their lives out there for everyone to see. Not only because it features very personal stories but also because of the prejudices and negative points of view the society might have about transgenders.

Hopefully “Man Made” will have the power to change the negative perception on being transgender. According to Cooper, he ‘respects all of the guys so much for their boldness in sharing their lives-because he truly thinks other people’s lives have been and will hopefully continue to be changed by the generosity of the subjects in this film’.

Last but not least, “Man Made” is an exceptionally emotional documentary. Whether it’s seeing the result of a life-changing surgery, hearing a tragic story about transgender people being murdered in an act of transphobic violence or just getting to know which emotional impact being transgender has on everyone involved in this documentary. The director hopes ‘that people are being touched by the lives and journeys of the subjects of the film’.

We can certainly agree with them and we pretty sure that you will as well. “Man Made” isn’t only an extremely important documentary about transgenders but is also a very emotional one about love, friendship, family and the determination to achieve your dream.

“Man Made” is now available via Video on demand.

Read our interview with director T Cooper here.

Originally published at on November 14, 2019.




Movie, TV, Streaming Reviews, Trailers, Short Films & Interviews

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

La Haine: So Far, So Good

An Ogling Ode to the 1980s Comedy Film Boob Shot

5 documentaries about inclusion on Netflix

Reviews from a buff!

Decentralized Content Creation Here We Come!

Erupt: Detective Pikachu — Not a Script Tease

How I edited a documentary during a pandemic. Remotely.

‘A Girl and Three Sweethearts’…Came for Kento Yamazaki, stayed for the sweet, adorkable…

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
OC Movies, TV & Streaming Reviews

OC Movies, TV & Streaming Reviews

Movie, TV, Streaming Reviews, Trailers, Short Films & Interviews

More from Medium

10 reasons you should be an LGBTQ+ Ally: An Indian Perspective

Citipointe contract is just the start of the Liberals’ war on queer kids

Queer Satanic: No Hierarchies — Only Vibes

Anarcho-Communist flag colors, a diagonal black on top of red. In the center is an inverted pentagram and on either side the text “be gay, do crime, hail satan”

Informed Consent Models of Care and how it is still used to gatekeep