The Center for Documentary Studies and the Southern Documentary Fund are pleased to present a free screening of director Diana Newton’s The Ties That Bind, a deeply personal film that explores a family’s journey of adaptation to the filmmaker’s former brother, who came out as transgender more than 12 years ago. The film is presented as part of the Fresh Docs series featuring documentary works-in-progress; following the screenings, a moderated conversation with the filmmaker(s) will be held, during which the audience provides valuable feedback.
The Ties That Bind
Friday, January 29, 7 p.m.
Full Frame Theater, American Tobacco Campus
320 Blackwell St., Durham, North Carolina
Note: Fresh Docs screenings are free, but attendees must RESERVE A TICKET via Eventbrite.
Time magazine recently proclaimed that America is at a “Transgender Tipping Point,” but twelve years ago it was decidedly not. When filmmaker Diana Newton’s former brother, Christopher, came out to her as a woman in 2003 , she decided to document her family’s journey of shock and loss, conflict and adaptation to Christine’s transition over time. The Ties That Bind is a rare longitudinal look at one family’s greatest unhappiness, imperfections, and the love that remains intact even so. While the gender change was dramatic, it simply spotlighted intensified the family dynamics that had long been in place. As Tolstoy pointed out, “All happy families resemble one another, each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” In the course of this film we see both the Newton family and American culture take a turn for the better, but not necessarily for the easier.
Diana Newton is the principal of Falling Apples Consulting, her company that is committed to developing integrated leaders. She is a facilitator, executive coach, and the co-author, with Dr. Paul Hersey, of Leadership Blueprint: Why We Better Lead and Lead Better. Diana’s dedication to leadership led directly to her interest in filmmaking. She began as a writer and producer of training films that explore the complex dynamics between managers and employees. In 2009, Diana wrote, directed, and produced an educational documentary case study—Change Journey: Facing Terminal Illness—that focuses on the process of managing change, based on the real-life story of a cancer patient and her hospice support team.