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Country: Qatar | USA, Language: English, 80 mins

  • Director: Anahita Ghazvinizadeh
  • Writer: Anahita Ghazvinizadeh
  • Producer: Chris Bergstrom; Zoe Sua Cho

CGiii Comment

This is what happens when you can't see the wood because the trees are [all] in the way!

Anahita Ghazvinizadeh's debut [and plotless] feature...this Peter/Petra Pan story gets absolutely lost amid ponderous observation...a director's job is to focus attention on the story, keep that attention and develop it towards a [rewarding] conclusion...well, none of that happened in They - and, at Cannes, there were quite a few walkouts!

The subject is as monumental as it is controversial and complex...a child opts to take puberty blockers because 'they' can't decide whether they are a boy or a girl...does a child have the capacity to make such a decision?

In this case, 'They' does...and, everyone goes along with it with neither rhyme nor reason nor hue and cry...even the rough-and-tumble neighbourhood boys who don't bat an eyelid when 'they' appears in what can only be described as an exceedingly short [party]'s the only memorable scene in the whole film...because (1) it's totally bizarre, and (2) it marks the point when the film could have gone on to be something better than the final product...They just moseys along with neither conflict nor a care in the world...or, indeed, for the audience. They ends with a whole lot of nothing.

Anahita Ghazvinizadeh's [loose] grasp on gender identity is summed up with the [apoplectic] line: You’re not a girl, but you’re not a boy either. So you’re probably nothing.

This is what happens when an auteur takes on a subject bigger than their talent and/or knowledge...indeed, a wasted opportunity with [screaming] strains of irresponsibility...the use of puberty blockers remains experimental...and, until there are quantifiable results from comparable long-term studies...will remain so.

Before putting pen-to-paper: Do your research...Jazz Jennings case highlights some surprising 'effects' as a direct result of taking puberty blockers!


The(ir) Blurb...

J has been diagnosed with Gender Identity Disorder, goes by the selected pronoun “they”, and takes hormone blockers to suspend their puberty. J is in their early teens and lives with their parents in the countryside. While J’s parents are away on a trip, their older sibling Lauren and her boyfriend Araz are assigned the duties of house-sitting and looking after J. Through a series of activities, performances and events, J’s growth and complex g ender identity are explored within the precarious family dynamic. The rural landscape becomes a queer site for dismantling the narratives of coming-of-age and transition, pharmaceutics and human biotechnology, and the effort for self-determination between recalling/forgetting the past and imagining/avoiding the future.

Cast & Characters

Rhys Fehrenbacher as J;
Koohyar Hosseini as Araz;
Nicole Coffineau as Lauren;
Norma Moruzzi as Mom;
Diana Torres as Diana;
Evan Gray as Boy 1;
Drew Sheil as Boy 2;
Leyla Mofleh as Negar;
Mohammad Aghebati as Behrouz;
Alma Sinai as Alma;
Arian Naghshineh as Kian;
Ava Naghshineh as Kimia;
Aerik Jahangiri as Robert;
Farid Kossari as Nima;
Kaveh Ehsani as Sirooz