directed by Christian Sonderegger
Small town smack in the American Midwest. Suzanna age 23 changes gender and becomes a boy: Coby. Her transformation deeply disrupts the lives of all who love her. Ultimately, Coby's chrysalis becomes the one of a whole family compelled to modify their own perspective. Not only a physical metamorphosis is at stake but also a spiritual one that eventually takes place under the director's luminous and unexpected eye.
I left for the United States with precise ideas as to how I was going to film my half-brother’s gender change. But as the shooting progressed, I felt that something deeper was at stake in the process.
Finally it was the whole family who opened up in front of my camera. I understood then that I was not simply going to document Coby’s transformation, but I felt I had to understand how those who were close to him had been supporting him all along.
The factual approach turned into emphasizing the affective as well as the sensory aspect. We turn away from the body to get closer to the mind. The question then is not why, but how. The point is : what is at stake in the resulting changes within the family? So the movie was remodeled into a narrative relating the changes affecting not only Coby, but the whole family. Something which was vital to one of its members compelled the others to do some soul-searching. In their own way, they all had to overcome an ordeal. Eventually they emerged as more complete human beings.
This portrait of my half-brother has eventually turned into a metaphor for our capacity to evolve and adjust to the changes which we can’t elude - a situation which goes beyond the feeling of discomfort experienced by transgenders. As Will, Coby’s father, aptly puts it during the interview: « Changing has consequences, but not doing it has also consequences »