Jack and Yaya is a documentary of two friends Jack and Yaya who grew together and supported each in their transition to be and show the world their true selves. This documentary never feels voyeuristic in fact the viewer feels lucky to get to spend time with two friends who bare their souls, intimate thoughts and let us into their world for 90 minutes.
What’s astonishing about this documentary is not only does it give the viewer the opportunity to understand the lives of trans men and women through the journeys that Jack and Yaya allow the viewer to watch. It also gives space to their family members to express their views, at times brutally honest but this really makes the documentary feel balanced. It also doesn’t shy away from showing the reality of transitioning, not just medically as we watch Jack inject himself with hormones. But, also the simple act of changing your name and the number of hurdles that Yaya must overcome. It certainly reminded me of the privilege I have in not having to face the same hurdles and the anger that there are still others in society who are made to face unnecessary hurdles just to live the life they want.
Jack’s parents are very supportive. The way in which Jack’s father talks of him with pride is very moving. For him, Jack is his child and his love for him is absolute irrespective of his gender. Whereas Yaya’s family is not the polar opposite but they have clearly had a harder time coming to terms with her transition.
This is an intimate documentary about the lives of two people, their thirty year friendship of love and support of each other and their battles to be accepted.