WEDNESDAY, MAY 5 | MACHO LIKE ME | 9:15 PM | DWNTN
|MACHO LIKE ME
DATE: WEDNESDAY, MAY 5
TIME: 9:15 PM
MACHO LIKE ME
(United States, 2009) Dir./Wtr: Helie Lee
Video, 80 min., color, documentary
The classic, female inquiry of “If I were a boy” is answered in Helie Lee’s MACHO LIKE ME. In this hilarious, self-experimenting documentary shot over a six and a half month period, Lee sets off to prove the widespread belief among women that men simply have it better.
Cutting off all her hair, donning men’s clothing, and giving up eyeliner, waxing, plucking, bleaching, and all other things that entail the glory of being a woman, Lee begins anew as “Harry” to see for herself what being a man is really like. Hiring two friends to document her journey, Lee relies on male friends to guide her into the world of sports and male gestures and give her a better picture of life as part of the opposite sex. Lee does everything from following friends to guys’ night out at a gay bar to playing a rough game of basketball. But aside from any so-called typical male activities, Lee takes an editing job for retired architect David Hyun, from whom she finds a mentor and insight into the struggle men experience when they age that she never saw before. Lee returns to her familiar life as “Helie” not long after meeting Hyun with a new-found understanding of man’s not-so-easy life.
Lee documents in a clever and speculative manner what most women are dying to know but are perhaps too prideful to try for themselves. The idea of a woman disguising herself as a man to see if the grass really is greener on the other side is a comical and intriguing topic in itself, but we see through Lee’s experience that life as a man comes with a package (no pun intended) that includes much more than sharing a holler at attractive female passer-bys or beer runs with the boys. Instead, we see the male counterpart trapped under generations of the man-made social expectation to uphold an alpha-male, macho character absent of sharing and caring, complaining and gossiping, pillow talks, hugs and public displays of human warmness that women are socially allowed to indulge in. A comedic piece in the backdrop of a thoughtful exploration into the lives of men, MACHO LIKE ME just might change the hearts of some females towards their male counterparts for good.
— Dara Kim
COMMUNITY CO-PRESENTER: IDA