Spanning almost two decades, ADAM’S APPLE is a personal documentary about a family in transition, intimately filmed from the perspectives of artist Amy Jenkins and her transgender son, Adam. Each armed with a camera, the film creatively chronicles an ever-shifting dynamic as Adam charts his own path toward manhood.
ADAM’S APPLE is a personal documentary chronicling the evolution of 19-year-old Adam’s experience as a transgender man, beginning in toddlerhood. As Adam asserts his identity and branches out into the world, his mother, Amy, grapples with her parental role and the inevitability of letting go. Their shared and sometimes contrasting views reveal the family’s challenges within these pivotal moments. The combination of intimate home videos, verité, and metaphorical imagery offers an inside perspective on the development of his identity and of their family. With the verité-style story as the throughline, ADAM’S APPLE also features reflections, prompted by their narrative, from other transgender men and their mothers. These poetic interstitials serve as chapter breaks that highlight the universality of Amy and Adam’s experience through diverse family pairs.
In the past two years, transgender children and their parents have struggled with even more restrictive laws passed all across the country. Bodily autonomy and the right for families to make their own decisions are being used as political fodder, leaving trans youth stripped of dignity and without access to affirming medical care. This current cultural context is the background from which ADAM’S APPLE emerges. The story of a family living in this climate is incredibly urgent as politicians, physicians, and others are the ones shaping the narrative around young trans people and their families. For the public to reach a greater understanding of transgender individuals, it is imperative that positive stories like ADAM’S APPLE be heard.
Made possible with the generous support of The Sundance Institute’s 2023 Documentary Film Program and Producers Intensive, Point’s North, The LEF Foundation, The Perspective Fund, The Film Study Center Fellowship at Harvard University, and The New Hampshire Charitable Foundation.