The film tells the story of a stunt double who is intersex and how she discovers her past.
BOTH explores issues surrounding intersex; a variation of human development that is estimated to occur in roughly one in every 2,000 births, and which doctors continue to erase any evidence of, using non-consensual invasive surgery and hormonal interventions.
BOTH is that rare thing in intersex portrayal – a story that gives an empathetic, and sensitive illustration of the issues that individuals and families encounter when an intersex child is born. This ﬁlm deals with the very adult themes of lies, duplicity and misinformation that many intersex people have experienced in their own lives.
There is sex, sexuality, and some nudity. It is a well-constructed ﬁlm that acknowledges many of the themes of lived intersex experience, and isn’t afraid to depict them.
So much of what is written about intersex focuses on intersex people. This ﬁlm looks at how family, medics and wider society has silenced intersex voices, denied bodily integrity and personal autonomy to anyone born intersex, and the extremes that people are known to go to, all in the name of supposedly “beneﬁtting” those born intersex.
BOTH is partly based on the life experience of Lisset Barcellos, who stated: “I made my film so I don’t have to talk about my own experiences,” Barcellos said. “It’s great to have something to refer to that is not my own life.
“I wanted to capture what an intersex person goes through when they find out about the deception they have lived with,” Barcellos said from her home in San Francisco, “for two or three weeks after you find out, trying to understand what the heck was done to you.”
There is an added poignancy attached to this ﬁlm in knowing that the lead – Jackie Parker – died in 2006 after a road accident in LA, California.
Now please take your time and watch the film and share with us your thoughts: