Director: Lucia Puenzo

argentina • 2007 • subtitled colour • dolby digital stereo 86 mins

Winner of the Cannes International Critics Week Grand Prix, this is an assured, beautifully shot debut from Argentine writer-director Lucia Puenzo. At first, XXY bears all the hallmarks of a traditional family drama. Fifteen-year-old Alex is struggling with the usual teen problems. However, all is not quite as it seems. When Alex was born, her parents left Buenos Aires and relocated to a remote coastal area of Uruguay. Their aim was to protect their precious child, who was born a hermaphrodite. But such noble intentions are quickly thwarted by Alex’s blossoming sexuality, and she and her parents are increasingly pressured to choose whether she will live as a boy or a girl. An established novelist and screenwriter, Lucia Puenzo has penned a sensitive and finely balanced script. Characters are honestly drawn, and with support from some of Argentina’s finest actors (Ricardo Darin and Valeria Bertuccelli as Alex’s parents), the young cast – particularly Ines Efron as Alex – deliver riveting performances.—Nicola Kettlewood.

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