Just over an hour long, Ofir Trainin's documentary Family in Transition opens with the 1996 wedding of longtime sweethearts Amit and Galit Tsuk, the young couple singing "All for You," an early '90s duet with painfully sincere lyrics. But rolling eyes at the subtitles risks missing the hope and fear shining from the newlyweds' faces, which are doing the real foreshadowing here.
The story picks up 20 years later, as Amit begins living openly as a trans woman (retaining her masculine first name) with Galit and their four children in Nahariya, Israel. Mirroring that wedding video, director Trainin locks his camera on his subjects' faces, making it impossible for them to hide, not that they're trying. The Tsuks take Trainin along as Amit comes out to their business partner, to daughter Agam's underattended bat mitzvah -- where Galit's mother, smoking and crying, explains that Galit and her ultra orthodox sister no longer speak — and to Amit's gender-reassignment surgery in Thailand. Later, you might wonder if they regret giving Trainin so much freedom; sure, Galit proposing that she and Amit marry again "as two women," or asking a terrified pre-op Amit to stay with her "as long as [she] can" are moments as sweetly romantic as those newlyweds doing wedding karaoke. They're also, as the last third of the doc proves, heartbreakingly naive.
The Tsuk children, with remarkable equanimity, evince the least surprise at their parents' later actions. Hebrew speakers may be better able to appreciate nuances that the sometimes stilted, distracting subtitles seem to obscure. But those open, honest faces -- the story they tell transcends words.