To Be Takei
Directed by Jennifer M. Kroot
Over seven decades, actor and activist George Takei journeyed from a World War II internment camp to the helm of the Starship Enterprise, and then to the daily news feeds of five million Facebook fans. Join George and his husband, Brad, on a wacky and profound trek for life, liberty, and love.
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★★★½ review by Travis Lytle on Letterboxd
"To Be Takei" profiles the man who, in his lifetime, went from a Japanese-American internment camp, to "Star Trek," to the forefront of gay-rights activism. Jennifer Kroot's documentary touches on the life of George Takei, following him as he lives his life, congenially sharing the wit and wisdom acquired through a his decades of acting and activism.
Talking heads, vintage footage, and slices of life combine for the film that documents Takei and his various endeavors. Takei, his costars, his husband, and his fans wax about the Captain of the USS Excesior and his life's triumphs and obstacles. It is an interesting life, and the documentary touches on the struggles of being a Japanese-American during the World War II era and, later, in Hollywood. Takei and Kroots present a warm, lively, and amusing portrait of the man and his life.
As pleasant as the man himself, "To Be Takei" is an interesting and winning documentary. The production breaks no new ground, but its subject provides more than enough to compel, provoke, and endear.
★★★½ review by Mr. DuLac on Letterboxd
The national treasure that is George Takei is brought to us by director Jennifer M. Kroot in this documentary that surpasses any flawes it might have by "Being Takei".
Takei's charisma and occasional brutal honesty about himself easily makes up for the sometimes lackluster manner in which the doc is put together. It's not just the fact that he's entertaining and has lead an interesting life, but he's surprisingly candid about subjects that don't always paint him in a good light when he has nothing to gain from it. Honesty like that is rare in Hollywood.
From the internment camps to Star Trek to equal-rights activist and his new found online popularity, the road map of his life is as unique as he is. It's campy and touching all at once, just what you'd expect.
★★★½ review by Sacha on Letterboxd
This sweet, weird little doco will confirm your long held belief that Takei is a national treasure. and that Shatner is a colossal dick.
★★★★ review by Pube on Letterboxd
Turns out the least interesting character on Star Trek had the most interesting real life. Takei grew up in WWII internment camps, struggled as an Asian American actor in a racist country with stereotypical casting, achieved Hollywood success while hiding his true orientation, and ultimately became an activist completely content with himself and the country he still believes in despite its shortcomings and bigotry. This documentary covers some serious stuff, but always has a great sense of humor. With interviews from old friends and colleagues, archive footage, and behind the scenes sentiments, there is not a dull moment in To Be Takei.
★★★½ review by Gibnerd on Letterboxd
To Be Takei is a light and pretty simple look a the life and career of the outrageously busy George Takei. As a Star Trek fan I found a lot of it especially fascinating and I appreciated how much of it, though keeping a light tone, shows some people in a not so favorable light. Overall, this is a breezy nice little doc about a nice "don't call me tiny" guy.
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