Journal of Romance Studies

Growing sideways in Argentine cinema: Lucía Puenzo’s XXY and Julia Solomonoff’s El último verano de la boyita

Journal of Romance Studies (2013), 13, (1), 34–48.

Abstract

This article examines an understudied aspect of recent Argentine filmmaking: the focus on queer and intersex childhood and adolescence in XXY (2007) and El último verano de la boyita/The last summer of La Boyita (2009), analysing them in the light of recent theory on queer childhoods, especially the notion that queer children carve out spaces of resistance to heteronormative models of development through ‘sideways movements’, involving the animal. In XXY’s utopian politics, the intersex body is figured as a locus of embodied becoming; in El último verano, the child’s becoming-animal is the site of strategic, subversive reinscriptions of human–animal connections and their relationship to gender. Both films pair intersex characters with a queer double who models a desiring gaze on the intersexual and in El último verano this is – in both aesthetic and political terms – a child’s gaze. Lastly, the article suggests that echoes of an older film, De eso no se habla/I don’t want to talk about it, can be identified in these films’ emphasis on queer becomings-animal as a means of growing sideways.

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Martin, Deborah