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This documentary investigates the underworld of modern eunuchs in America. Each year in the United States hundreds of men voluntarily choose to be castrated and reinvent their sexual identity for reasons other than sex reassignment. Who are they?
What are their motivations? Is it legal? Should men have access to such an irreversible surgery on demand?
To answer all these questions American Eunuchs profiles several key characters. In Philadelphia we find Dr Felix Spector, an 84 year old doctor of osteopathic medicine, who has performed castrations in a semi-legal environment for three or four patients a week on average between 1998 and 2001. No questions asked. Credit cards accepted.
This documentary also follows George, a pet groomer who is married with children, on the day of his surgery in Philadelphia and several months later at his Maryland home in an attempt to understand his motivations and the impact of the surgery in his life.
“Gelding”, a eunuch himself and guru to the pseudo-community of castrated men, will tell his story and demonstrate a variety of techniques to castrate animals and men during a calm and lucid conversation by the pool in his house in Florida.
The last part of American Eunuchs will take the viewer to the heartland of America. In Joplin, Missouri, Jack, an illegal cutter explains his reasons for risking several years in jail to perform illegal castrations in motel rooms. Does Jack represent today’s version of a provider of back alley abortions?
The documentary reaches its climax with Michael, one of Jack’s patient/victims Michael’s sad and moving story raises several issues and forces the viewer to reflect upon our society, the medical system and the complexity of human sexuality.
Director: Franco Sacchi, Gian Claudio Guiducci
Producers: Franco Sacchi, Gian Claudio Guiducci
Editor: Franco Sacchi, Gian Claudio Guiducci
Cinematography: Franco Sacchi, Gian Claudio Guiducci
Associate Producer: Barbara Balzaretti
Official Selection: Intl. Film Festival in Amsterdam (IDFA), 2003
Official Selection: Maryland, Film Festival in Amsterdam, 2003
Official Selection: Pesaro Intl. Film Festival, Italy, 2003
Official Selection: Parnu Intl. Documentary Film Festival, 2004
Sundance Channel, USA 2004
Channel 5, UK 2004
Planet, Italy, 2005