‘Born to Be’ Review: Intimate Portrait of Transgender Surgery Pioneer Gets It Right

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10/04/2019

“Not every patient wants to have a surgical transition. Transition can take many forms,” says Dr. Jess Ting in an early interview in “Born to Be,” a poignant and finely tuned documentary about his work as head surgeon at Mt. Sinai’s Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery. Ting’s thoughtful, measured, and sensitive approach to the transgender population are just part of what make him such a satisfying documentary subject. (His sense of humor and background as a Juilliard-trained classical musician does the rest.) Dr. Ting brings a level of care and humanity to his work that is, unfortunately, not always the norm for the community he serves. Taking a page out of his book, filmmaker Tania Cypriano treats her tireless subject with utmost sensitivity, which is apparent throughout the 92 minutes of her intimate and highly compelling film.

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