Why Can't I Be Me? Around You

Why Can't I Be Me? Around You

Renown art car artist Harrod Blank's camera-covered van breaks down near Albuquerque, NM. The only mechanic capable of fixing it is local drag racer, and machining savant, Russell “Rusty” Tidenberg. Rusty recently began to transition by getting breasts. While Rusty works, Harrod learns that Rusty's boss (father) cut his pay, his biker friends rejected him, and women won't date him now. Struck by his story, Harrod films Rusty for eight years. Other gender-non-binary art car artists that Harrod meets shed further light on gender identity in America. The film follows Rusty on this difficult journey of embracing and exhibiting both genders, while still hoping for acceptance, and love.

Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.

Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.


Harrod Blank

Sjoerd Dijk



Directors: Harrod Blank, Sjoerd Dijk
Executive Producer: Harrod Blank
Producer: Harrod Blank
Screenwriter: Sjoerd Dijk and Harrod Blank
Cinematographer: Harrod Blank
Editor: Sjoerd Dijk
Sound Designer: Jeremiah Moore
Principal Cast: Rusty Tidenberg, Shevaa Deva, Lucy Hosking, Plymouth Ansbergs Harman, Brandi Bosier, Doc Atomic, Dr. Samuel Roll, Dr. Marci Bowers, Harrod Blank, Glen Russell
Additional Credits: Sound Recording: David Silberberg, Mix & Sound Design: Jeremiah Moore, Post Production Supervisor: Anthony Matt, Production Assistant: Alicia Peña, Still Photography: Jim Holbrook, Still Photography: Mike Neese, Colorist: Robbie Renfrow, Still Photography: Alica Peña, Additional Cinematography : Rusty Tidenberg, Additional Cinematography: Jim Holbrook


Les Blank Films Inc.
Public Film Contact
Harrod Blank
Les Blank Films
Publicity Contact
Primary Entry: Platinum Badge, Film Badge
Secondary Entry: Music Badge, Interactive Badge, Film Festival Wristband

Year: 2019
Premiere Status: World Premiere
Genre: Documentary, LGBTQ, Mature/Adult
Screening Category: Documentary Feature
Country: United States
Language: English
Runtime: 93:00 mins