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A Queer Film Historian Discusses Movies That Provoke

Elizabeth Purchell isn’t afraid of “Transexual Menace,” even though she is a transgender woman and the film sounds like the kind of hateful propaganda you’d find for sale at a convention of conspiracy nuts. But “Transexual Menace” is a cornerstone of documentary filmmaking about transgender people — a 1996 time capsule made by the maverick and prolific queer German director Rosa von Praunheim. And Purchell, 32, is a historian of queer film who has a soft spot for movies that provoke, arouse, tickle and otherwise stir the queer cinema pot.

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