A Deal with the Universe Review
Jason Barker, the director of this very personal documentary, was born
Jason began taking testosterone in 2000 but stopped taking it once he
This extraordinary documentary details how Jason, after numerous miscarriages and heartbreaks, gives birth to their child as a transgender man. Shot entirely on home video, we are given a deep insight into the lives of these two people who are, undoubtedly, head over heels in love with each other. Sometimes, Jason will film Tracey doing even the most mundane of tasks, but you are invested in them because it highlights just how much he admires his partner. She feels like a special person because Jason clearly believes that she is.
Stories about transitioning to the opposite sex often involve the transgender person discussing all of the prejudices they have faced in their lives. Obviously, this is an important issue to address, but Jason doesn't seem to want to tackle his story in this way. He very rarely mentions the people who have been transphobic towards him and, even when he does, he tends to do so at stand-up comedy gigs. Rather than releasing his anger towards them, he presents them as idiots who aren't even worth responding to. It's a very different way of dealing with these insults, and it's also a refreshing one.
Unlike some documentaries, A Deal with the Universe doesn't seem to warrant repeated viewings. But it is vital to watch it at least once because it is such a unique take on the narrative of a transgender person. This film beautifully shows that a transgender person is more than the fact that they have transitioned from one gender to another. They, like every person in society, have their own needs and desires. You are with Jason and Tracey every step of the way.