Director Lucia Puenzo, Cinematographer Natasha Braier, Argentina 2007 (1hr 26mins Cert 15)
A thoughtful examination of the life of an intersex teenager, XXY features an excellent cast, anchored by the fierce performance of Inés Efron, and the playful, provocative cinematography of Natasha Braier. Alex (Efron) has been raised as a girl – including taking hormone pills – by her loving, but somewhat confused parents. Now 15, she has started to reject the binary definitions that have bound her thus far. As her own decisiveness begins to flourish, she must negotiate the loving concern of her parents, the suspicious residents of her small fishing village, and the confused affection of Álvaro, a teenage boy whose family has come to live with Alex’s. Braier’s camera resists the voyeurism of many of the villagers, while remaining refreshingly frank in the way it captures Alex’s growing understanding of her sex and sexuality. Like its protagonist, XXY resists easy categorisation.
In Spanish with English Subtitles
NATASHA BRAIER, born in Argentina in 1974, has quickly developed into one of the pre-eminent cinematographers of the twenty-first century. Her roots are international, having shot her first films in Argentina, Spain, and Peru before quickly finding work in the UK, France, and the US. Originally a proponent of shooting on film, she transitioned to digital while shooting The Neon Demon (2016), a process she described as moving from being a “dancer” while working with film to a “painter” with digital. In both cases, she manages to combine a fluidity of movement with arresting imagery and colour, while at the same time keeping her films very grounded in the “real”. Other films include Somers Town (2008), The Milk of Sorrow (2009), and The Rover (2014).
LUCÍA PUENZO is an Argentine director who began her career as a screenwriter (The Whore and the Whale 2003) and continued to write as she transitioned into directing with XXY. Her work often focuses on young women in non-conformist sexual and romantic relationships (The Fish Child 2009), and she has also shown an interest in examining the complications the arise when science, however malignant or well-meaning, intrudes upon the human body (The German Doctor 2013). Most recently she has worked on the ground-breaking television series Cromo, a transmedia scientific eco-thriller that combines elements of feature film and TV series procedural.