Meet the Filmmaker Screening of French film COBY

Featuring post-screening Q&A with fidirector Christian Sondregger

Debut feature documentarian Christian Sonderegger travelled from France to America’s midwest with precise ideas as to how he would record his half-brother’s gender change. What he didn’t expect was the story that would emerge around family, and how something that was vital to one family member could lead the others into soul searching.


Coby – as was Jacob’s transitioning name – was 23 and partnered with Sara when he decided to take testosterone pills in his first step to becoming male. Surgery came next, as did cutting his hair short to assist his family in their acceptance. With a world of YouTube viewers watching Coby emerge from his gender chrysalis, those closest to him arguably underwent the more radical change – a change of perspective – which is something that sits at the heart of this documentary and informs it even more than the physical awakening.


With Coby now reborn as Jacob, the final step in the transition is a hysterectomy; a crucial choice given Jacob’s partner, Sara, does not want to bear a child. Jacob’s father expresses the conundrum they face most eloquently when he says, “Changing has consequences. Not changing also has consequences.”