A New Way to Tell Trans Stories

How the groundbreaking film Framing Agnes shatters the documentary format


Episode Notes

This week, host June Thomas talks to Chase Joynt and Morgan M. Page, co-writers of the new documentary Framing Agnes, which Chase also directed and appears in. The film depicts, through reenactments, conversations with trans patients who were part of a UCLA gender study in the 1950’s. It also features interviews with trans actors who portray the patients and multiple conversations between Chase, Morgan, and others about how to tell trans stories farily. In their interview with June, Chase and Morgan describe the many modes of the film and explain why they felt the need to venture so far outside the usual documentary conventions.

After the interview, June and co-host Karen Han talk more about Framing Agnes and documentary filmmaking. They also discuss best practices for conducting respectful interviews.

In the exclusive Slate Plus segment, Chase and Morgan talk about some of the people they collaborated with to make Framing Agnes.

Works referenced in this episode include:
Errol Morris’ documentary series WORMWOOD.
The Handler, an edition of the BBC’s Assume Nothing series.
The Teacher’s Trial podcast

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Podcast production by Cameron Drews.


About the Show

Slate interviews creative people about their work.

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  • June Thomas is the co-host of Slate's Working podcast. She is writing a book about archetypical lesbian spaces.