The Pearl

DIRECTORS: Jessica Dimmock, Christopher LaMarca

Bay Area Premiere

Expected to attend: Director Christopher LaMarca

Four transwomen navigate the second half of life in this vérité-style documentary set against the backdrop of the Pacific Northwest. Mainly following separate narrative threads, the photojournalist filmmakers seek to illuminate these women’s individual triumphs and analogous struggles.

Nina maintains two lives in British Columbia: one as a husband working nights as a pizza delivery driver, the other spent nurturing her true identity in private. She makes incremental strides toward coming out, but she fears hurting her family. Jodie and Krystal are Oregon sisters living together in an unconventional workshop space. They spent decades keeping their shared secret from each other before revealing their true gender identities. Jodie is self-employed and travels frequently, so she chooses to dress conventionally masculine on the job. The more confident Krystal has fully embraced her new life and returned to college. The eldest of the four subjects is Amy, who lived as a devoted husband for 46 years and then came out as female after the death of her wife. Faced with the prospect of a lonely existence, Amy chooses to open her Washington State home to other transwomen seeking solace, building a new family for herself while urging her transitioning housemates to be their beautiful, authentic selves: to “find the pearl and forget the shell.”

— Chris Keech

AT&T Audience Award Text Voting Code: D313

Co-presented by:
San Francisco DocFest

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