Docpoint – Helsinki Documentary Film Festival

Programme

Transition

Australian journalist Jordan Bryon has lived in Afghanistan for five years, and considers it home. In 2021, as US troops withdraw from the country, the Taliban immediately take over. Bryon decides to stay to document the events. The New York Times commissions him to make a film about the Taliban.

Bryon recognises the obvious risks, but he also has a secret, which could cost him his life if it ever came out. He has commenced the process of transitioning from female to male just as power in Afghanistan changes hands. He takes his first hormone injections and plans for his first meeting with the Taliban.

He receives a warm welcome from the Taliban, which makes his documentary work easier but also causes some mixed emotions. The situation in Afghanistan becomes more and more dangerous, and he is not sure if he has the right to remain in the country and cause his loved ones so much worry. To make things more complicated, he wonders if it might be possible for him to reveal his identity to the Taliban he has now gotten closer with. He and cameraman Teddy come up with a plan for what they will do if his secret comes out during filming. Suspense reaches its peak in scenes where the Taliban compliment Bryon, all the while considering, whether he is worth their trust. Transition is a fascinating amalgamation of intimate portrait and exclusive look inside an extremist movement.

Santtu Nikula (translated by Virpi Sumu)

Content warning: transphobia, homophobia

Language: English, Persian, Dari
Subtitles: Partially subtitled in English
Length: 88 min
Age Limit: K12
Year: 2023
Production Country: United States

Director: Jordan Bryon, Mónica Villamizar
Producer: Mónica Villamizar
Production Company: AGC Unwritten, Our Time Projects, Tikal Media, Ruvrika
Distribution Company: AGC Studios
Editing: Eduardo Resing, Maria Alehandra Briganti
Cinematographer: Jordan Bryon, Gelareh Kiazand, Toby Muse, Neil Brandvold, Farzad Fetrat
Music: Nadim Mishlawi
Sound Design: Carlos García