#HOTDOCS: “JACKIE THE WOLF”
By Mr. Will Wong
Directed by her Filmmaker son Tuki Jencquel, JACKIE THE WOLF certainly is more thought-provoking than it is an easy watch. Combining family videos and candid interviews with his mother, Author and Activist Jacqueline Jencquel, we try to get the why behind her choice to want to end her life.
Jacqueline isn’t ill, nor is she dependent on the care of others. She simply refuses to live beyond a certain age and has lost the will to live, yet appearing sound of mind. She devotes her time and voice to furthering the conversation about a person’s choice to die and having autonomy over their life and body. In doing this, she is calling for a change to French laws include one’s right to die based on personal choice. Jacqueline sets an initial date for her death, though this keeps shifting in hopes she will live to see change before she goes.
Along the way, we get a deeper dive into her psyche, opening-up to her son about everything from lost love to libido, as Tuki alternates the caps of son and Documenter. We even meet another older woman named Joan Schertenleib, who also is looking to end her life as well, though her circumstances are quite different from Jacqueline‘s. Joan is in chronic pain, suffering from Arthritis and has endured losing immediately family, including her daughter, who passed before her.
The level of trust that Tuki and Jacqueline gainin order to get us access into the room with her real-time in Joan’s final moments is both compelling, yet unsettling. Certainly something we will never forget seeing and something we’ll be pondering for a bit. No matter where our opinions stand on the subject matter, Tuki honours his mother’s legacy by allowing her voice to carry in in this complex portrait of her.
JACKIE THE WOLF screens at Hot Docs ’23 as follows:
MON MAY 01
Isabel Bader Theatre
SUN MAY 07
Scotiabank Theatre 6
It streams online May 5-9, 2023.