Néstor Kraken (Ricardo Darín) is a marine biologist who is passionate about sexuality and has decided to move with his family from Buenos Aires to a seaside village in Uruguay. There is a reason for this sudden departure – Kraken’s 15-year-old daughter, Alex (Inés Efron), is an intersex child who is already having problems fitting in with societal norms due to her unique medical condition. After being outcast by her friends for being different, the young girl is ready to make a decision – she wants to stop taking her sex hormones, which have kept her female until now. Although her father is encouraging and wants to support her unconditionally, her mother, Suli (Valeria Bertuccelli), has other plans.
Under the pretext of wanting Alex to get to know her friends, the mother invites Erika (Carolina Pelleritti) and Ramiro (Germán Palacios), her husband, over to their house. The latter is a plastic surgeon who has been asked by Suli to try and convince Alex to remain a girl. The man explains to her the benefits of sex reassignment surgery in hopes that it would make her change her mind. However, Alex seems dead set on her decision to transition towards more masculine features. Things get even more complicated when Ramiro’s young son, Alvaro (Martín Piroyansky), develops an intimate friendship with Alex. Their relationship is taken a step further when the two begin experimenting with their sexuality.
“The shots are beautifully composed, the editing paces the process of self-discovery, the dialogue is spare and heartfelt, the performances are deeply human.”
— Roger Ebert
“Is as finely crafted as a great work of literature.”
— SF Gate
“Struggle and angst lie at the centre of the movie but also the strong emotional bond between parent and child.”
— Eye For Film
Did You Know?
XXY is Lucia Puenzo’s first feature film and was initially conceived as a short story entitled Cinismo, which was written by her husband, Sergio Bizzio. The movie’s script was so packed with medical information that the director claims it “had almost become a documentary”. Puenzo also worked with teachers, geneticists, various medical doctors, as well as with parents of intersex teenagers in order to create a realistic and genuine outlook on the condition and its impact on children in today’s society. Review our Gay Themed Films Here