The Aggressives

Released 2005


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Movie Summary

Keely Christian
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The Aggressives explores the dramatic subculture of lesbian women who identify themselves as men in New York City. Six women share their stories with filmmaker Daniel Peddle over the course of five years. Peddle strives to portray how race, gender, sexuality and gender expression all impact the decisions of these women to live their lives in as masculine a way as possible while eschewing society's established labels. Kisha is a messenger who lives her life in drag; her clients don't realize she's really a women. Tiffany is struggling with her identity while her male partner undergoes gender reassignment treatment. Octavia must take on an increasingly violent persona while serving a prison sentence, and Marquise finds similar obstacles when she joins the Army. With no apologies, the women open their lives and their culture to the world. The film includes footage from the underground lesbian "ball" scene and received the 2006 Alfred C. Kinsey Honor for its work to explore gender identity in the modern world.moreless

Metacritic Score

  • 75

    New York Daily News Elizabeth Weitzman

    The charismatic young women who populate Daniel Peddle's illuminating documentary are vibrant proof that there's still an untold story waiting around every New York City corner.

  • 70

    The New York Times Janet Maslin

    In the film's briskly paced 72 minutes, any open-minded viewer will discover something about identity and about the comfort these women have obviously found in learning to be their...

  • 70

    Variety Ronnie Scheib

    Documaker Daniel Peddle also works as a casting director, and so it is small wonder his crisp, concise, intimate portrait of six very different, self-styled "aggressives" -- women ...

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Culture, African-American Heritage