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Ricardo Darín , Valeria Bertuccelli , Lucía Puenzo    Unrated   DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Well Done... March 10 2009
I'm not sure why the product description refers to adolescent transsexuality because the films is about intersexuality, specifically XXY (Klinefelter's Syndrome). A very touching piece of work. I felt the director did a good job presenting a very emotion filled story with a good cast of characters. I would highly recommend it!
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Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  25 reviews
41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Life Determining Conflict: Who Am I? Oct. 27 2008
By Grady Harp - Published on Amazon.com
The chromosomal abnormality of XXY has been labeled as Klinefelter's Syndrome, hermaphroditism, and Intersex. The 'conception' defect results in a child with both male and female organs and when detected at birth usually results in a decision between physicians and parents to surgically alter the child to be one or the other phenotypic assignments - male or female. In this remarkably sensitive film based on a short story 'Cinismo' by Sergio Bizzio and adapted for the screen by writer/director Lucía Puenzo, XXY becomes a story of understanding and acceptance of a diagnosis by both child and parents and the conflicts such gender variation can present.

Alex (Inés Efron) is the XXY patient of the story, having been raised on the isolated coastline of Uruguay as a girl with the aid of supplemental hormones until age 15, the age when her loving Argentinean parents Kraken (Ricardo Darín) and Suli (Valeria Bertuccelli) have decided she should have her 'offending member' removed, allowing her to become a completely phenotypic female. Alex is deeply conflicted about her situation, refuses to take her medications and enjoys being 'one of the boys' in secret. When Alex's parents invite their surgeon friend Ramiro (Germán Palacios) and his wife Erika (Carolina Pelleritti) to their home to advise them on the surgical alternatives, they are accompanied by their artistic son Alvaro (Martín Piroyansky). There is an attraction between Alex and Alvaro and this ultimately results in a crisis that results in the coming of age and self-acceptance of both youngsters. Lucía Puenzo and her fine cast sensitively explore the interaction between parents and children and the coming to grips with choice of identity. This is yet another challenging and rewarding film from Argentina, one that stands alone as a fine movie, but one that also would be wise to add to the film libraries of high school and college students and of patient resource facilities who deal with problems of gender identity. Highly recommended. Grady Harp, October 08
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Why do I have to choose?' Oct. 8 2008
By Elliot - Published on Amazon.com
15 year old Alex (Inés Efron) was born intersex; she resembles a female (and takes hormones to enhance this), but has male genitals. As she has grown older, her parents moved her from her home in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to an isolated fishing village on the coast of Uruguay, to avoid the questions of friends and relatives. Her mother is desperate for her to become wholly female, and invites a plastic surgeon (along with his wife and son) to their village to discuss surgical options. The son, Alvaro (Martin Piroyansky), is questioning his own sexuality...which becomes all the more confused as he and Alex grow attracted to one another.

XXY (Spanish, English subtitles) deals with age-old themes (social stigma, parental conflict, societal demands for sexual conformity) in a refreshing context. What does it mean to be 'male' or 'female'? Is the pressure to choose one gender or another innate, or socially-enforced? Are the neuroses that young people suffer wholly attributable to parental desire for social orthodoxy? A post-op female-to-male acquaintance of Alex's father advises: "Making her afraid of her body is the worst thing you can do to a child"...(oddly reminiscent of Van Dijk's classic quote: "Sexuality is something granted to everyone, and to teach a child to abstain from this evident intimacy is perhaps the first form of sexual violence to which it is subjected"). XXY does not seek to resolve these (perhaps unresolvable) questions, but does an excellent job of casting light onto such neglected areas of social life.

The acting is remarkable for what must have been challenging roles; completely natural and unselfconscious. The lead characters do a superb job of conveying (frequently through body language and eye movement) the turmoil that they undergo, but credit also to an exceptional supporting cast, including the powerful performance of Ricardo Darín in the role of Alex's father. The camera work and lighting combine with these other aspects to result in a moody, poignant and most memorable film. Highly recommended.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Making choices when there is no choice Sept. 26 2008
By Reader - Published on Amazon.com
Being adolescent is hard enough. This film touches up on much more complex issues. What can parents do to help their child choose his/her sex when that child has both? When a person is born with both sexual organs, most parents decide the sex of the child shortly after birth. But Alex's parents felt that is should be their child who should decide their sex. Alex is raised as a girl. But puberty is bringing some hard decision for Alex, her friends and family. Shall Alex remain a girl and have an operation to remove her other organ? This would be easier to answer is Alex knew her sexual preference. She feels she is a boy but there is a fragility in her that is very obvious. There is a moment in a film that I found heartbreaking. Alex sits with her closest friends: high school girlfriend who is sexually active,intrigued and not frightened about Alex's body; Alex's best friend from the local schoool who was stunned to discover that Alex is not just an ordinary girl. Alex's accidental lover, a slightly older boy who discovers after being with Alex that he is really gay - to the shock of his own parents. The bravest decision Alex can make is to acknowledge publicly what she is, not have any surgeries and let time show on who her live partner will be as the time goes by when she can sort out her own emotions. This film is like no other film I have seen so far. It will get you thinking about how complex human sexuality and our emotions really are.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Your film is HONEST Oct. 2 2009
By A. S. W. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
A letter to Lucía Puenzo:

Dear Lucia, thank you for your amazing film XXY. I just finished watching it on DVD and I am truly moved not only by your artistry and confidence in filmmaking but also by the subject you so sensitively depict. You created an immense emotional human drama from a taboo subject.

Fortunately social norms are in constant change, but we are still living with so many stigmatized topics from the past, and films like yours bring a great contribution to slowly but surely erase society's negative behavior about unusual or dissimilar people. We are all human beings made of the same stuff.

Your film is HONEST. You succeeded to create a non-exploitive wonderful film encouraging us to be sensitive to each other, understand and enjoy the diversity this noble nature is offering. The major characters in your film are interesting, different and talented, young Alex and Alvaro are convincing and touching.

I will cherish this film for a long, long time to come. I will recommend to all my friends and eagerly waiting for your next creation. You are a talented artist.

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not the right delivery system for this message, or, How about a little RESPECT?! Feb. 14 2013
By E. Hernandez - Published on Amazon.com
XXY (a/k/a "XXy", 2007, 85 minutes, in VERY bad Spanish with subtitles) is perhaps one of the most disgusting films I have ever seen, precisely because it pretends to deal with a true and painful subject: it deals with a hermaphrodite teen. It addresses a few items about the subject but is generally just plain awful. It's a pretentious, arrogant and nearly impossible-to-follow piece of Eurotrash even if they do say it is from Argentina.

The victim of the day here is beautiful young Mexican actress Inés Efron who plays Alex, a hermaphrodite who seems to have been raised as a girl by her parents. Though her father lovingly accepts Alex's true physical condition, it appears he struggles a bit with Alex's psychology--well, who wouldn't?! The title is mostly a symbol.

However, if I may: XXY, a/k/a Klinefelter's Syndrome, is a type of hermaphroditism. What is typically seen is a male who has very small testicles and insufficient hormones to carry him all the way to "normal" malehood. The result is a male child, but a child suffering from female characteristics that can be painful, dangerous and even life-threatening (they have breasts and usually get breast cancer). One extremely interesting characteristic is XXY kids tend to be much taller than their peers, and this is usually due to abnormally long legs.

My old review had a loud complaint posted about Alex's "issue" that is being swept under the rug--and I was insulted just for pointing out what the movie tells us up-front. In an ugly 'rape' scene (I call this 'non-sexual rape') Alex is forcibly undressed in order to see if the rumors are true. What the boys see after they have attacked and brutalized Alex goes beyond the rumors.

So what the hell issue is THAT? Is it not hermaphroditism?--they SAY SO in the film! Alex's father states Alex was born a hermaphrodite and that's not a euphemism for "gay"! This isn't about your average gay teen, and THAT is the whole point of this movie. Alex's father defends and accepts her.

The rest of this film is so distasteful that I will leave it up to you to decide. I find it far too intense and frankly a bit dishonest to recommend it at all--and I definitely would not recommend it for kids. All I can do to ease this attitude is to praise them for making a film about a true physical medical hermaphrodite--surely a way to get everyone's attention.

However, these issues need to be approached with respect, as educational issues and not in the way this film does it, with exploitation.

Since I devoted my 23-year ministry to fight for the rights of all transgender people, the gay community, and everyone else who falls on the spectrum, from bisexual to true hermaphrodite, I will not dignify this film with anything other than this review and a strong warning. It was a disrespectful approach to a horrid set of problems this world suffers--but we need to really understand those who are really suffering.

I can't fathom this representing Argentina at the Oscars for Best Foreign Film--and that should be a big red flag for film buffs. What this does tell us is the entire subject requires a good, well-directed film on the subject. I am truly sorry for those review-readers out there who can't read well enough to understand what this review is trying to say.

Two stars, one for the young actors and one for trying.
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