Jack & Yaya (2020)

Bringing further awareness and a positive mentality to the trans community, Jen Bagley’s honest and intricate documentary Jack & Yaya is very much the type of film 2020 needs at this moment.  More than just a transformative story though, Jack & Yaya details the identities of family and how important a strong support system is.

The titular duo are best friends who, after growing up next door to each other, embark on their own respective gender transformations; Jack (christened Jacqueline) and Yaya aka Christine (christened Christopher) had a standard, mischievous childhood that was solidified by their ability to truly see the other for the person they always intended to be.

Through a wealth of archival footage, Bagley’s film documents their unique friendship through all the trials and tribulations that accompanied their brave decisions; whilst their respective families are supportive now, it was a slow process for them to come around initially, a stage where, thankfully, Jack and Yaya always had each other.

As optimistic as the film is, it certainly isn’t always the happiest journey, with the stigmas and the struggles the trans community experience still very much a core aspect of the narrative.  However, given the abhorrent treatment they are still subjected to at this current stage, something like Jack & Yaya, with its careful and trustworthy framing, is proof that a positive dialogue can be generated, and the more people understand, the better off the community will be in living their authentic truth.

Jack & Yaya is available on demand from June 19th.  An Australian release date is still to be determined.

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