Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Ricardo Darín, German Palacios, Jean Pierre Reguerraz, Ines Efron, Martin Piroyanski
Director: Lucia Puenzo
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Studio: Repnet Llc Release Date: 10/14/2008
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A Life Determining Conflict: Who Am I?
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 10/27/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The chromosomal abnormality of XXY has been labeled as Klinefelter's Syndrome, hermaphroditism, and Intersex. The 'conception' defect results in a child with both male and female organs and when detected at birth usually results in a decision between physicians and parents to surgically alter the child to be one or the other phenotypic assignments - male or female. In this remarkably sensitive film based on a short story 'Cinismo' by Sergio Bizzio and adapted for the screen by writer/director Lucía Puenzo, XXY becomes a story of understanding and acceptance of a diagnosis by both child and parents and the conflicts such gender variation can present.
Alex (Inés Efron) is the XXY patient of the story, having been raised on the isolated coastline of Uruguay as a girl with the aid of supplemental hormones until age 15, the age when her loving Argentinean parents Kraken (Ricardo Darín) and Suli (Valeria Bertuccelli) have decided she should have her 'offending member' removed, allowing her to become a completely phenotypic female. Alex is deeply conflicted about her situation, refuses to take her medications and enjoys being 'one of the boys' in secret. When Alex's parents invite their surgeon friend Ramiro (Germán Palacios) and his wife Erika (Carolina Pelleritti) to their home to advise them on the surgical alternatives, they are accompanied by their artistic son Alvaro (Martín Piroyansky). There is an attraction between Alex and Alvaro and this ultimately results in a crisis that results in the coming of age and self-acceptance of both youngsters. Lucía Puenzo and her fine cast sensitively explore the interaction between parents and children and the coming to grips with choice of identity. This is yet another challenging and rewarding film from Argentina, one that stands alone as a fine movie, but one that also would be wise to add to the film libraries of high school and college students and of patient resource facilities who deal with problems of gender identity. Highly recommended. Grady Harp, October 08"
'Why do I have to choose?'
D. Elliot | UK | 10/08/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"15 year old Alex (Inés Efron) was born intersex; she resembles a female (and takes hormones to enhance this), but has male genitals. As she has grown older, her parents moved her from her home in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to an isolated fishing village on the coast of Uruguay, to avoid the questions of friends and relatives. Her mother is desperate for her to become wholly female, and invites a plastic surgeon (along with his wife and son) to their village to discuss surgical options. The son, Alvaro (Martin Piroyansky), is questioning his own sexuality...which becomes all the more confused as he and Alex grow attracted to one another.
XXY (Spanish, English subtitles) deals with age-old themes (social stigma, parental conflict, societal demands for sexual conformity) in a refreshing context. What does it mean to be 'male' or 'female'? Is the pressure to choose one gender or another innate, or socially-enforced? Are the neuroses that young people suffer wholly attributable to parental desire for social orthodoxy? A post-op female-to-male acquaintance of Alex's father advises: "Making her afraid of her body is the worst thing you can do to a child"...(oddly reminiscent of Van Dijk's classic quote: "Sexuality is something granted to everyone, and to teach a child to abstain from this evident intimacy is perhaps the first form of sexual violence to which it is subjected"). XXY does not seek to resolve these (perhaps unresolvable) questions, but does an excellent job of casting light onto such neglected areas of social life.
The acting is remarkable for what must have been challenging roles; completely natural and unselfconscious. The lead characters do a superb job of conveying (frequently through body language and eye movement) the turmoil that they undergo, but credit also to an exceptional supporting cast, including the powerful performance of Ricardo Darín in the role of Alex's father. The camera work and lighting combine with these other aspects to result in a moody, poignant and most memorable film. Highly recommended."
Making choices when there is no choice
Reader | Boca Raton, FL | 09/26/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Being adolescent is hard enough. This film touches up on much more complex issues. What can parents do to help their child choose his/her sex when that child has both? When a person is born with both sexual organs, most parents decide the sex of the child shortly after birth. But Alex's parents felt that is should be their child who should decide their sex. Alex is raised as a girl. But puberty is bringing some hard decision for Alex, her friends and family. Shall Alex remain a girl and have an operation to remove her other organ? This would be easier to answer is Alex knew her sexual preference. She feels she is a boy but there is a fragility in her that is very obvious. There is a moment in a film that I found heartbreaking. Alex sits with her closest friends: high school girlfriend who is sexually active,intrigued and not frightened about Alex's body; Alex's best friend from the local schoool who was stunned to discover that Alex is not just an ordinary girl. Alex's accidental lover, a slightly older boy who discovers after being with Alex that he is really gay - to the shock of his own parents. The bravest decision Alex can make is to acknowledge publicly what she is, not have any surgeries and let time show on who her live partner will be as the time goes by when she can sort out her own emotions. This film is like no other film I have seen so far. It will get you thinking about how complex human sexuality and our emotions really are."
ambientlight1 | San Francisco, California United States | 09/03/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The best intersex film I've ever seen. Very current and intelligent. Everyone should see XXY."