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Donna – Movie Review
August 26, 2022
Synopsis: An intimate and candid portrait of the inspiring trans activist, artist and performer Donna Personna. It follows her journey to live authentically as herself and to reconnect with her family.

Director: Jay Bedwani

Stars: Donna Personna

I’ve always believed one of the things that makes us all unique is that we all have a story to tell. And Donna Personna has had quite the story. Donna Personna! What can I say about Donna Personna?  Many things. First, who is she? Well; she is an activist, she is a force, she is an inspiration, and she is a breath of fresh air.

The central figure in the new documentary, Donna, Ms. Personna is unlike most personalities we come across. She is definitely one of a kind.

Donna is a trans activist. I wasn’t familiar with her but I’m glad this film was brought to my attention. In this documentary, we get to know about her life. The film explores her upbringing, her coming out and the effect of that decision on her life and those in her life. When she came out some were accepting of her decisions, and some weren’t. This film explores how she dealt with that. This is a very candid, sincere look into her history. Bedwani does not shy away from the uncomfortableness that Donna has experienced in her life. This isn’t a candy-coated story but an authentic one.

As I am watching this film, I couldn’t help but think of the countless conversations that take place when people come out to their family, friends and loved ones and how at times those conversations can be difficult. One of the things that makes this film stand out is how relatable it will be for those who can connect to the subject matter.

Donna is also a performer and, as this film shows, she doesn’t need a formal stage to do so. One of the things that I found infectious about her is her spontaneity. Whether it’s in front of an audience or just performing on the street, she lives in the moment.  Donna Personna isn’t the type of person who walks around asking ‘why’, she is definitely a ‘why not’ personality.

There is a certain level of vulnerability that comes from this type of project. Donna is definitely putting herself out there for all to see but what makes her amazing is, she isn’t looking for approval.

In the film, she is depicted as someone who is widely respected by people especially those in her community.

Bedwani has stated that he saw Donna at a party and was drawn to her and her story. After seeing the film, I can understand that.

This film isn’t long, at about 75 minutes running time but it seems sufficient to tell her story, or at least give the audience a strong introduction to it.

Donna is a very inspirational film about an inspirational person that is worth the watch.

Grade: B+

 

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