Sunday 2pm - grote zaal

Intersexuality is a diverse condition that is still unknown outside the medical discourse. Intersex refers to people who are, according to the same medical discourse, born with an anomaly in the reproductive system. In the U.S., 1 out of 2000 children has been reported to have one of the intersex conditions. Many of them have undergone several medical treatments to 'correct' that anomaly since their childhood, leaving them with a sense of shame and secrecy. In this programme, intersex activists speak about the impact of medical treatments on their lives. Both films plead for honesty, more information on this subject, and respect for the rights of the child. All of these issues prompt us to question whether individuals born with mixtures of male and female should be forced to compromise their differences to fit a flawed societal definition of normality.  

Hermaphrodites speak!


Programme: Intersex Programme
Documentary about seven intersexed born people. They speak about their traumatic experience from the medical treatments they received in their childhood and the impact of those treatements on their lives. This documentary calls for more openness on intersex issues.

In 1996, an international conference of intersex people took place in the USA for the first time in history. Director and intersex activist Cheryl Chase interviewed seven attendants on their experiences dealing with the strong medical enforcement of gender identity in their youth. Medical interventions on intersexed children are easily proven to be senseless and cruel.

After the Intersex Programme, Cheryl Chase will give a lecture on the activities of the Intersex Society of North America (ISNA), an organization that aims to end shame, secrecy and unwanted genital surgeries for people born with an anomaly in the reproductive system.

Dir Cheryl Chase
USA 1997 40 min
Documentary video
English with no subtitles

Cheryl Chase is the founder and excutive director of the Intersex Society of North America (ISNA).

Journey Intersex

Programme: Intersex Programme
Journey Intersex follows the lives of Del (born Debbie) and his cousin Heidi (born Travis). Both of them are intersex. This film raises questions about gender and sex identity and the ways by which our culture enforces a strict binary gender system.

When Del was 12, he remembered that a cousin was born and for one week, no one was able to tell him whether the baby was a boy or a girl. This raised a lot of questions for the young Del. It took him almost twenty years to track down Heidi, but then he realised that the true circumstances of Heidi's birth were still withheld from her.
In Journey Intersex, Del meets Heidi three years after he had revealed to her his knowledge of her intersex condition, and helps her in her journey to find access to the hidden facts behind her medical history and to finally confront her estranged mother with this issue for the first time.

Director Del LaGrace Volcano will be present at the festival. He will join Cheryl Chase after her lecture on intersexuality and the activities of ISNA.

Dir Del LaGrace Volcano and Cara Lavan
UK 2000 24 min
Documentary video
English with no subtitles