lecture

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Review of intersex film "XXY" and lecture "X's & Y's" at SAIC

I recently attended two events at The School of the Art Institute, both focused on intersex persons.  The first evening was a film, followed by a lecture presentation the next night. 

  XXY (2007), Directed by Lucía Puenzo and starring Ines Ephron as Alex. 

This film is extremely powerful as a direct result of simply being honest and unflinching.  It is the story of adolescence, of family, of honesty and the differences in how people deal with bullying.

In summary, the film centers on Alex - a 15 year-old intersex child, who has identified as a female.  She and her family live on the Ecuadorian seashore.  Her father is a biologist, rescuing endangered and wounded sea creatures.  One of the principal themes of the film is the presence of so many life forms.  Throughout human history, shore dwellers have encountered new creatures both living and dead, where the land meets the deep unknown. 

Alex's mother, Suli invites a surgeon, Ramiro, his wife Erika and their son Alvaro for a visit.  Suli has not told her husband Kraken that Ramiro is here to observe Alex.  He specializes in genital alteration surgery on intersex children.  It seems as if the two women might be friends of some sort and they are accompanied by their teen son.  She is interested in turning Alex into the daughter she wants to have.  Alex has been taking hormones to suppress the development of male puberty body changes.  Alex has stopped taking them.

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