Indie Film Reviews

Bristol Fashion


‘Bristol Fashion’ is a sweet, moving slice of life movie that follows a young transgender woman, Christina (Lea Nayeli) as she navigates the fraught waters of her life. ‘Bristol Fashion’ is an intimate look at her life in these moments, and it escapes stereotypes and cliches. We are offered a window into this turbulent time in her life — her purchase of a boat, the bigotry she faces in her day to day life, the awkwardness around identification cards and deadnames, the delicacy of relationships between transgender women and straight cis men, and the intricacies and difficulties of living an authentic life.

Christina is bold and strong even when at her most vulnerable. She pulls no punches — nor does this movie.

I don’t want to give away too much in this review because I really would love for you to watch it! If you do, you’ll be treated to a fearless look at a woman’s life and experiences as she tries to find her way in the world — by way of an old boatyard.

Bristol Fashion Poster. Image Source: Affirmative Youth Productions

‘Bristol Fashion’ is directed by Pierre Guillet — a tugboat captain who grew up at the boatyard in which much of the movie takes place. Guillet, Timothy John Foster, and Lea Nayeli share writing credit.

The characters of Christina, Steve / Esteban, and Cadillac / Gerald are well-acted and all of them bring a relatability and likability to their roles. It’s a treat to see their performances as their characters change through the course of the movie.

Lea Nayeli is enchanting in the role of Christina. Beautiful, kind, strong, vulnerable, fierce, and everything else demanded of her in any given situation — Christina is a smart, straight-speaking woman. She’s confident in her gender identity and what she is fighting for, while being scared and vulnerable about her situation. She’s determined to have her plan happen just so — which makes her journey seeking peace from her traumatic past happen on her terms. While Christina’s habit of calling people by their given name instead of their chosen is an odd one, it’s tempered by Lea Nayeli’s warmth and kindness in her delivery of them, which lead me to believe this quirk speaks to Christina’s turmoil in relating to her world after a horribly traumatic experience. It’s obvious that her experiences have left her keeping people at a distance while…



Jamie Toth, The Somewhat Cyclops

I write about independent movies, tarot, consumer safety, and more. Contact me: