Film Archive

Under the Skin

Documentary Film
Switzerland
2019
84 minutes
subtitles: 
English

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Britta Rindelaub
Robin Harsch
Le Bruit.
Robin Harsch
Ana Acosta
Igor Marlot
Three transgender teenagers undergo radical physical changes caused by hormone therapy and surgery: This is the external metamorphosis that finally brings their appearance into line with their long-felt gender identity. Behind them lie desperate years in which they had to struggle not only with themselves but also with their family and school environments. This continuous experience of rejection and harassment has made them vulnerable. They long for the day when they don’t have to explain themselves all the time.

The curious and frank questions of the director, who is also the cinematographer, produce a very intimate relationship between him and those he films. What becomes clear is how difficult, complicated and all-encompassing the path of transformation is not only for the teenagers but also for their parents. What does it mean to a mother when her child, born as a girl, becomes a boy? A counselling centre supports the teenagers and their families in everything, helps them with psychological and legal issues, accompanies them to talks with teachers and medical professionals. This support is essential to give everyone concerned some orientation. And it enables the adolescents to finally arrive in their bodies, their selves.

Annina Wettstein