All Women Are Equal (1972)

All Women Are Equal is a black and white 15-minute documentary about Paula, a male to female transsexual made by veteran lesbian filmmaker Marguerite Paris. This very early, non-exploitative representation of an ordinary well-adjusted transgendered person is historically significant for its treatment of the subject. Paris produced, directed, shot, and edited this film, which, unlike other versions, allowed the individual to tell a personal story, without resorting to spectacle or focusing on performativity. Through Paris’s lens, we are given real insight into both the era and Paula’s sense of self.

Born in Brooklyn, Marguerite Paris studied acting at Erwin Piscator’s Dramatic Workshop in the early fifties and studied dance with the New York Dance group, focusing on Graham Technique and Carribbean Movement with Jean-Louis Destinee and Geoffrey Holder and Jazz Dance with Alvin Ailey and Tally Beatty. In 1967, she began shooting films and sat in on Ken Jacobs’ classes at the Millenium Film Workshop, a filmmaker whom she credits as “the person who enlightened me as an artist.” Paris’s work has been exhibited at the Berlin Film Festival, the Museum of Modern Art, MIX: New York Lesbian and Gay Experimental Film Festival, the San Francisco Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, Hallwalls, Anthology Film Archives, and the National Film Theatre of London.