The Most Dangerous Year

The Most Dangerous Year

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  • Directed by: Vlada Knowlton
  • Released: 2018 (educational)
Running Time: 90 min
Language: English
Subtitle Options: English Closed Captions
Subjects: LGBTQ, Gender Studies, Feminist Studies, Civil Rights

In early 2016, when a dark wave of anti-transgender “bathroom bills” began sweeping across the nation, The Human Rights Campaign published a report identifying 2016 as the most dangerous year for transgender Americans. In Washington State, six such “bathroom bills” were introduced in the State Legislature. Documentary filmmaker Vlada Knowlton captured the ensuing civil rights battle from the perspective of a small group of embattled parents as they banded together to fight a deluge of proposed laws that would strip away the rights of their young, transgender children. As one of the parents, Knowlton presents an intimate portrait of her own struggle to protect her 5-year-old transgender daughter from laws inspired by hate and fear. From tension-filled Senate hearings in Olympia to intimate household settings of the families involved; from thought-provoking conversations with key lawmakers to elucidating facts explained by leading scientists, The Most Dangerous Year explores the transgender civil rights battle in all its richness and complexity. 

Seattle International Film Festival  - Best Documentary (3rd runner-up)
Twist Seattle Queer Film Festival - Favorite Documentary Feature Runner-Up
Kansas International Film Festival  - Best Documentary Feature Nominee
Rhode Island International FIlm Festival  - Official Selection
Atlanta Docufest  - Best Social Issue Documentary Feature
St. Louis International Film Festival  - Official Selection
Arlington International Film Festival  - Official Selection
Friday Harbor Film Festival  - Official Selection
Portland Film Festival  - Official Selection
Newburyport Documentary Film Festival - Official Selection


"One of the best docs at [the 2018 Seattle International Film Festival]...The Most Dangerous Year excels in doing what great politically-charged pieces of art often do. Knowlton centers us, grabs our focus, and makes us listen." - Michael Ward, Seattle Film Critics Society


Vlada Knowlton

Vlada is an award-winning filmmaker based in Seattle. Her debut documentary feature, Having It All, was selected by Washington's PBS station, KCTS9, as the anchor program for its “Women Who Inspire” series in August, 2015, and went on to also be broadcast by Oregon Public Broadcasting. Her current documentary, The Most Dangerous Year, was awarded the Professional Grant from Women in Film Seattle and an Open 4Culture Grant. Vlada holds a doctorate in Cognitive Science from Brown University and worked at Microsoft prior to her filmmaking career.

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