ByPaul Donovan, writer at
A jerk with an opinion. An explorer of transgressive cinema. See more things about movies at
Paul Donovan

The winner of multiple awards, this is an intelligent and respectful exploration of a rarely discussed issue.

1. The title of the film refers a genetic condition called Klinefelter syndrome, in which a person has an extra sex chromosome, which makes them genetically male and female. However, the title is a little misleading.

2. It's about a teenage girl named Alex, who is intersex (which is actually not the same thing as having Klinefelter syndrome), living with her family in Uruguay. The family invites a surgeon and his family to stay with them because Alex's parents want her to consider having surgery.

3. Alex's situation is escalated when she makes a sexual advance on Álvaro, the son of the surgeon. This incident sets off a subplot about Álvaro, who is discovering his own sexual awakening.

4. The movie is written and directed by Lucía Puenzo, an Argentinian film-maker who focuses a lot of her work on issues of body modification.

5. I don't think I've ever seen such a sensitive portrayal of the intersex community (no, The Crying Game doesn't count).

6. Alex is played by Inés Efron. The way she portrays a person caught between genders is mesmerizing. You can really feel her rage and confusion and shame, knowing she doesn't fit into society in even the most basic of ways.

7. There is a scene of sexual assault that, while not physically damaging, is emotionally excruciating.

8. The evolving relationships between Alex and her family show a few of the difficulties that the families of an intersex person must face. Many issues are brought up in both families, and just like real life, they aren't really resolved.

9. Topics such as gender fluidity and sexual fluidity are being more openly discussed in today's society. But this quiet little Argentinian film from 2007 is the best illustration of the subject that I've seen.

Note: This trailer is probably NSFW.

What do you think? Was it presented well? Are there other movies about intersex people that you can recommend?


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