The Pearl


The Pearl (2016)



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Movie Info

The Pearl explores the raw emotional and physical experience of being a middle aged to senior transgender woman against the backdrop of post-industrial logging towns in the Pacific Northwest. The film leans into the struggle of those who were reared and successful as men and have reached middle age or later with a burdensome secret that they can no longer keep. We travel with four women, all in extremely early stages of coming out, as they attend the Esprit Conference--an annual event in northernmost Washington where transgender women that have lived closeted their whole lives come together in an environment that allows them to express their true identity. From here we follow these same 4 women over the course of nearly 3 years as they grapple with varying degrees of transition.

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Critic Reviews for The Pearl

All Critics (6) | Top Critics (2)

There are many powerful moments, and one can't help but empathize with the four women as they experience their travails and triumphs. Their courage is often astonishing, as is their outlook.

Nov 10, 2016 | Full Review…

Though it achieves a remarkable intimacy with its subjects, this study of four transgender women falls short of its intended power.

Nov 10, 2016 | Full Review…
Top Critic

A downbeat but sincere work.

Nov 22, 2016 | Rating: A- | Full Review…

The Pearl isn't some late-night infomercial selling transgender rights to an uneducated audience. It simply wishes to show trans humanity.

Nov 10, 2016 | Rating: A | Full Review…

The doc tends to wander, focusing more on the women's everyday lives. But when they travel and are free from the strictures of their closets inside their home communities, you see how beautiful real freedom can be.

Nov 10, 2016 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

They deserve to have their voices heard, and not simply muffled by The Pearl.

Nov 10, 2016 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

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