DOCURAMA has released a poignant, surprisingly effective documentary, “SOUTHERN COMFORT.” While its trans-gender subject matter will certainly not appeal to the masses, for those willing to give this documentary a chance, it’s highly rewarding.
“SOUTHERN COMFORT” follows the later life of Robert Eads, a transsexual, now living his life as a male in Georgia. As one would suspect, Georgia doesn’t have the perfect political climate for those “on the fringe” to live without prejudice.
“SOUTHERN COMFORT” explores this fringe of society in a way never realized before, and while uncomfortable(at least to this reviewer)to watch at times, it may very well be important to watch. This is especially true at a time, when most of society seems weighing in on a new tract towards conservatism and intolerance.
Living life, for everyone, can be unbelievably stressful at times. However, one can’t help but feel compassion(if human)for the plight of these individuals, suffering not only from some harsh realities of daily existence, but prejudice and hatred as well. The pains of just existing are truly amplified when we find out that “Robert” develops cancer of the uterus. It’s hard to imagine the pain endured by anyone dealing with such a horrible disease, and the fact that it’s happening before the viewer’s eyes to this transsexual, doesn’t make it any less tragic.
“Robert” is struggling to live long enough to make it to one more “SOUTHERN COMFORT” meeting, a convention of sorts, for the transgendered.
As we follow Robert’s life, the audience is introduced to a world wherein the “unconventional” aspects of his life collide with other aspects of his previous life as a woman. Robert had actually married, as a woman, and having children. One of his sons still refers to him as mom, and it’s an emotional scene.
“SOUTHERN COMFORT” continues to follow Robert along, as he suffers and endures the pain of his illness, all-the-while striving to make it to the conference. Somehow, this well-made documentary manages to subtly manipulate one’s heart, making it a real testament to the strength of the human condition, no matter what the circumstances. It deserves to be seen.
DOCURAMA has provided the original 1.33:1 aspect ratio for this release. Shot on video, the quality varies in spots, but overall, colors are solid and contrast is adequate. Fleshtones appear natural, for the most part.
DOCURAMA has provided a Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo mix. There is no separation to comment on, but dialogue is always intelligible and free from distortion.
Some deleted scenes, as well as a photo gallery are also included.