They

Not-coming-of-age Drama, (In development)
Directed by Anahita Ghazvinizadeh
Produced by Zoe Sua Cho/Mass Ornament Films. Co-produced by Katja Adomeit

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.

 

J, Lauren and Araz spend time in their parents’ greenhouses, the artificial environment for sheltering organic growth, as well as in the clinic : the technologized institution that shapes their bodies . They recast the family and the medical-industrial complexes through role-play games and test the role of language in the formation of their identities and relationships by reading poetry, telling stories, and entertaining bilingual games. These adventures become an entry point into the open-ended questions of growth and becoming that THEY are facing.

 

 

A child will become an adult. I realized once that this simple phrase is the core of my work. Rather than defining the states of childhood and adulthood, I reflect on the transition; the verb “to become” is the stimulus for my work. The transitional child or the becoming adult – with their strong intuition, amorphous sensibility and unconscious perceptions – is the character at the centre of fiction; indeed, they themselves are the fiction. I try to picture the moments that bring out the urge for self-determination: those situations that function as a delay in which the child grows out rather than up, to drive thinking about the possibilities of becoming for a child, and ponder the philosophical and ethical questions of what constitutes a person and what determines personhood.

 

Anahita Ghazvinizadeh, director