Jack in the land of Transpinays
The Philippines has a strong but continuously threatened subculture of trans women – or transpinays as they like to call themselves. Who are they? What is their everyday life like? Finnish photographer and documentarist Jack travelled to the Philippines to find out. This is the story of that journey.
From the exotic beaches to the slums of Manila, Jack gets to see all sides of the fascinating culture that is less known outside of the Philippines. His guide is Char, a local trans activist. They discover new things not only about transpinay culture, but also about each other.
Together with Char and Jack we get to meet entertainer Marimar, waitress Irene, account manager Vanity, nurse Claire and slum resident Nicole, among others. Vanity ponders her career choices and explains that dating foreign men is often only option for transpinays since local companions are hard to find. For Nicole living in the slum problems are more mundane. They are completely on their own. Even healthcare officials may refuse to treat transpinays because of their religious beliefs.
Hearing the stories of these people, we feel their joy and love – as well as their pain and sorrow when they have to battle against a world of fear, prejudice and violence.
While filming the documentary Jack´s feelings for Char deepen and he has to face his own fears and prejudices. Yet – as their story demonstrates – love does not know boundaries set by man.
Come join Char and Jack: take a journey to a place you have not been before – the Land of Transpinays!
World Premiere @ Helsinki International Film Festival, 22nd of September 2015.
Directed, filmed & edited by Jaakko Jaskari / Jaskari Worldwide
Written and narrated by Char & Jack
Produced and distributed by Liisa Akimof / Production House Finland Ltd
The movie is suitable for all audiences.
• Private screening @ Suomen Seksologinen Seura, Turku, Finland, Wednesday 16th May 2018
• Screening @ Neighbourhood Mothers movie night, Helsinki, Finland, 6th April 2018
• Private screening @ SEXPO training, Helsinki, Finland Monday 9th October, 2017
• Private screening @ HIV-center of Helsinki, Finland, 21th November 2016
“A nice, overall feel-good movie – about a topic we didn’t expect to feel good about.”
“Your documentary really opened up my eyes and I was thinking about it for days. Even we who consider us liberal caught ourselves from our dormant prejudice.”
“A heartfelt movie about transwomen. An exceptional, fresh and personal point of view. Wonderful examples of different characters – and a good pace that kept my attention up until the end.”
“This documentary reveals many viewer´s beliefs about transwomen to be obsolete and false.”
“Char & Jack wholeheartedly respect the people they meet. I felt safe in their company too, as a viewer.”
“In my work as a sexologist, I see how we humans look for happiness. But after getting there we can´t stand it for long. Instead we look for reasons to feel hurt again. Char and Jack land into a rare spot, where one can endure both pain and sorrow as well as love, success and happiness.”