I Don’t Know (1971)


A truly major work, I Don’t Know observes the relationship between a lesbian and a transgender person who prefers to be identified somewhere in between male and female, in an expression of personal ambiguity suggested by the film’s title. This nonfiction film—an unusual, partly staged work of semi-verité—is the first of Spheeris’s films to fully embrace what would become her characteristic documentary style: probing, intimate, uncompromising.

Director: Penelope Spheeris.
Writer: Penelope Spheeris.
Stars: Jimmie Michaels, Dana Reuben, Andy Spheeris, Linda Spheeris.


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  1. Jonathan Shapiro
    June 24, 2021

    This and HATS OFF TO HOLLYWOOD are incredible works. Spheeris is an amazing filmmaker. Shame that music rights will probably prevent both from ever being commercially released, though. Amazing to realize she was at UCLA alongside Charles Burnett and Jamaa Fanaka

  2. Tobias
    June 25, 2021

    Thanks so much! Been hoping to see this for a while.

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