XXY Marks the Spot: Intersex Cinema from South America


The Argentinian film XXY (opening May 2) is about a teen named Alex, who was born an intersex child with both male and female genitals. No, she doesn’t grow up to star in Halloween. This is a serious film, so much so that it won the Grand Prize at the Cannes Festival’s Critics Week and was the official Argentinian entry for the Oscar. To add to the complexity, the press release refers to Alex as a “she,” while director Lucia Puenzo says, “After years of operations and taking hormones to become a man, Alex realizes he will never be merely a man or a woman.” So I guess she becomes a he–or maybe she ALWAYS was a he. Confused? Not nearly as much as Alex is at the start of the film. By the way, Puenzo is an interesting offspring herself. She happens to be the daughter of Luis Puenzo, who did The Official Story. Yes, DAUGHTER.