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This Documentary Series Gave 4 Hours Of Television To 1 Trans Woman's Story

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HBO documentary series The Lady and The Dale was co-directed by Nick Cammilleri and Zackary Drucker. Drucker, a trans artist and activist, told Cammilleri that she thought this was the first time four hours of television were devoted to a single trans person in this way.

The series covers the life of Elizabeth Carmichael, who spent decades on the run from the law after counterfeiting in the early 1960s, taking on multiple identities. Along the way, she started a car company during the 1970s oil crisis and grabbed attention by promising a new vehicle that would get 70 miles to the gallon: the Dale.

Cammilleri spent a decade trying to unearth the full story of her life. From interviews and trial transcripts to blueprints of the Dale car, that story gets told through a modern lens in the new series.

Drucker worked with Cammilleri to bring her experience as a trans woman to the way the story was told, while Cammilleri said he wanted to tell what he called "a Liz story," bringing Carmichael to life. She was a complicated figure — a con artist always looking for another way to get rich, a trans mother with 10 children between four different women, and possibly an entrepreneur seeking redemption.

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