Argentina, 2007, 91 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Bisexual, Drama, Gender, Intersex, Youth
Program: Centerpiece
Language: Spanish

DIRECTOR: Lucia Puenzo

Argentina’s highly touted “New Cinema” had a big hit at last year’s Frameline31 Festival with Glue, a powerful drama about a trio of confused teenagers that won the juried prize for best first feature. This year the Argentines make another indelible impression with Frameline32’s Centerpiece presentation, the brilliant and unforgettable XXY.
First-time director Lucia Puenzo has created a film as beautiful, tough and unpredictable as the rocky Uruguayan shoreline on which it is set. The moody and moving portrait she paints against that backdrop — with help from talented cinematographer Natasha Braier and fearless young actress Ines Flores— is like nothing you’ve seen in any other film.
XXY is a portrait of Alex, a 15-year-old coping with an extended puberty made more complicated by the presence of an extra chromosome and, according to her mother, a few extra parts. Born intersex, Alex has been brought up female. But now that her body is changing— and she’s faced with the prospect of “corrective” surgery that her father refused to allow when she was born— she’s beginning to wonder.
Things come to a head when her mother surprises Alex with a visit from a plastic surgeon and his family, and Alex finds herself being pushed to make a choice she’s not sure she wants to make. Her attraction to the doctor’s teenage son Alvaro just makes things all the more confusing.
Under Puenzo’s sensitive direction, Flores, who played the female corner of the teen triangle in Glue, brings Alex to the screen in an understated but powerful performance that will leave you thinking about the nature of gender and the choices we are forced to make. — MARK PAGE


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