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Gender X

Girls who are boys and who like boys who are girls -- and all permutations in between -- are given free reign to define themselves in "Gender X," an above-average digi-docu from Deutschland. While pic is a typical talking-heads exercise, the collection of people gathered by helmer Julia Ostertag is consistently more insightful than the wigged-out characters who usually inhabit such inflated vox pops.

With:
With: Bianca Fox, Gloria Viagra, Rebecca Poppers, Sherry Vine.

This review was updated at 8:34 p.m.

Girls who are boys and who like boys who are girls — and all permutations in between — are given free reign to define themselves in “Gender X,” an above-average digi-docu from Deutschland. While pic is a typical talking-heads exercise, the collection of people gathered by helmer Julia Ostertag is consistently more insightful than the wigged-out characters who usually inhabit such inflated vox pops. Gay themed fests will find this a must, but other events may find straight auds will also respond.

Trawling the drag shows of Berlin, pic initially introduces the concept of a sliding scale of transgender identity, ranging from curious teenage boys donning dresses to full post-op transsexuals. Sherry Vine talks eloquently of the drag face as a mask that permits outrageous speech, a point underlined by many clips and interviews. Helmer’s track record indicates she’s happy to work on an ad hoc lowbudget basis, but more money and supportive research could have elevated this to an even more satisfying level. As a virtually one-woman undertaking, tech credits are quite rough.

Gender X

Germany

Production: A Julia Ostertag production. (International sales: Julia Ostertag, Isernhagen, Germany.) Produced, directed, written, edited by Ostertag.

Crew: Camera (color, DigiBeta), Ostertag, Micha Bojanowski, J.T. Homm. Reviewed at Berlin Film Festival (Panorama Documentary), Feb. 13, 2005. Running time: 72 MIN.

With: With: Bianca Fox, Gloria Viagra, Rebecca Poppers, Sherry Vine.

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