Review: ‘Hermaphrodite’

Pic lacks in impact what it has in novelty.

Laying claim to being the first film from the Dominican Republic in widescreen 35mm — and surely the first from the island nation about a woman born with male and female sexual organs — “Hermaphrodite” lacks in impact what it has in novelty. Director and co-writer Albert Xavier mixes a rudimentary style with overly complicated storytelling to unsubtly deliver the near-tragedy of Maria (Marilu Acosta), as she deals with the reactions of relatives and lovers to her condition. Commercial forecast is dim, save gay fest visits.

An avalanche of flashbacks lays it on thick about Maria’s unfortunate childhood and a chain of inevitable rejections by supposed loved ones, while distracting from the central story of her trying to maintain a platonic relationship with city guy Molasses (Garibaldi Reyes) in the farm town of San Jose de Ocoa. That streetwise and sexually randy Molasses doesn’t manage to discover Maria’s sexual identity until near the end of the film beggars belief — just one sign of an undercooked screenplay. Acting, on the other hand, is overcooked.


Dominican Republic


A Belier Entertainment presentation. Produced by Amarfi Peralia Dominguez. Executive producers, Albert Xavier, Yuk-kit Yuen. Directed by Albert Xavier. Screenplay, Xavier, Sheila Gruillon; story, Fernando Santos Diaz.


Camera (Deluxe color, Panavision widescreen), Elias Acosta; editor, Adiel Skarmetta; music, Michael Lengies; production designer, Samuel Taribio; costume designer, Yadira Sanchez. Reviewed on DVD, Los Angeles, Sept. 1, 2010. (In Los Angeles Latino Film Festival.) Running time: 82 MIN.


Marilu Acosta, Garibaldi Reyes, Isabel Polanco, Olga Bucarelli, Henssy Pichardo, Rafa Rosario, Amarfis Aquino, Daniel Acosta.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety