Film / XXY

A Spanish language film about Alex, a teenage intersexual, coming to terms with her sexuality and exsistence and the effect it has on her family. Female pronouns are used in this entry for Alex as the movie consistently using female pronouns and adjectives (in Spanish, adjectives have gender).

Alex and her family live in an isolated island community in Uruguay and Alex lives a girl, her true nature a secret. While her family has raised her a girl, Alex is ambiguous about her gender and if anything seems to want to live as a boy. It's enough that she has secretly stopped taking her estrogen pills. Alex's mother invites a surgeon friend and his family to visit. Neither Alex nor her more supportive father know that he is visiting to discuss the possibilities of a sex-change operation. Alex and the surgeon's teenage son Álvaro form a bond and have anal sex, with Alex on top. Alex's father witnesses this and is forced to confront his daughter's sexuality.

When boys from the village assault Alex in order to see her genitalia, it becomes Alex's decision whether to press charges. If she does, everyone will find out who (and what) she is.

The subplot of the movie involves Alex's new friend Álvaro, who also seems to be struggling with his sexuality, especially after discovering that he loved being penetrated during sex.

This film provides examples of:

  • Ambiguously Gay: Álvaro. Any discussions of the film spend at least some time on Álvaro's clearly confused sexuality.
  • Dawson Casting: Alex says she is fifteen, though actress Inés Efron was around twenty-one when the film was made (likely because of the graphic nudity and sexual situations)
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: The subject of Alex and Álvaro's first blunt conversation.
  • Hermaphrodite: Alex, seemingly in the classical sense rather than the medical sense, as the boys who assault her comment that she has both sets of genitalia fully intact, which is extremely rare for real-life intersex children.
  • Papa Wolf: Alex's father is definitely this, going to any lengths to protect and defend her from violence and prejudice.
  • Real Is Gray: Rural Uruguay is a very...grey place.