Channel 4 Documentaries

July 19, 2012 § 1 Comment

“You did not say anything about my new blog…” I tell family senior.

“Yes, what do you mean?” I hear.

“Well, you did not acknowledge it in any way. The fact it exists.” I feel like an idiot now.

“I am thinking how to acknowledge it”.


Family senior took off to the pub last night leaving me sitting on the sofa wondering what to do with myself. This is not the me I am used to having around – lost for company and unsure what to do with the time when family junior is fast asleep. I could read, I have my Out of Africa, that’s an option. I could watch TV, except I have no wish to do that. I could clean, but it feels too dark and miserable outside to clean, yet the bathroom could do with a scrub, or I could watch a documentary! And watch I did.

The first one that caught my attention was called the Boy Who Was Born a Girl, it did not impress me much so I will no write much about it here. It touched a subject that is quite alien to me yet fascinating at the same time. Hearing or reading about people born with the this distinct feeling that they are of the opposite sex triggers something in me, something that people are shy to admit, it tickles that voyeuristic side of me – How do they live? How do they date? What do they think? Who do they fall in love with? The boy this film was about is only 16 now and it was really his mother that captured my attention, her stoic attitude and the universe of kindness she seemed to carry on her shoulders.

The second film, though, was slightly more disturbing and upsetting: The Boy Whose Skin Fell Off.

I am not sure what got to me most, the graphic images, the pain this man had to endure on a daily basis, the suffering he learned to live with and joke about (“There cannot be any friction or my skin simply peels off,” he goes, “so no non-stop w*nking!”). I laughed and I cried watching him spend his last 4 months on this odd planet called Earth. Move into his own place, go visit Cherie Blair at No10 Downing Street, plan his funeral which started off with picking his own coffin. And die after his visit to London. This man, this light, I felt quite uneasy after the film ended. Be warned, it does hurt, if you decide to watch it. But how vain it sounds. What is this pain? This pain of ours in comparison to that life?

And finally, this was not last night, but as I am on to it – Living with the Amish. If I had to put this show into one sentence I’d say: the only way to live one’s life.


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