DOCNZ: The New Zealand International Documentary Film Festival


A sensitive and important exploration of a otherwise hidden topic -Documentary Edge

  • Best Feature Documentary (NZ), Documentary Edge Festival 2012
  • Best Editing (NZ), Documentary Edge Festival 2012


World Premiere

New Zealand 2012 / 68min.
Director Grant Lahood. Producer John Keir.
Mani Bruce Mitchell

Every new parent asks: “Is it a boy or a girl?” But what happens when doctors cannot answer that question? One baby in 2,000 is born with genitalia so ambiguous that it is impossible to tell if the child is male or female. That startling but little known statistic means the number of intersex babies equals two rugby teams every year. Their birth certificates – instead of showing “male” or “female” — are sometimes marked “I” for indeterminate.

Director Grant Lahood follows Mani Bruce Mitchell, NZ’s first “out” intersex person, as he/she travels to meet other intersex people living in America, Ireland, Germany, South Africa and Australia.

Expatriate Kiwi sexologist Dr John Money of the world renowned Johns Hopkins Medical School believed that gender was the product of “nurture not nature.” His studies into intersex people led to a particular surgical treatment model for babies born with ambiguous genitalia – the idea being that doctors could produce healthy and happy men and women by intervening early in an intersex child’s life. Usually that meant a family secret that had to be kept at all costs.

But as the film shows, human sexual development is never that straight forward. This is a heart-warming story told with a mix of laughter and tears in the most frank and revealing way.


Intersexion Trailer

Find similar films by topic: Personal/POV, Sexuality, Social/Community.

Page top

Documentary Edge Festival 2012

New Zealand (2/5)

Screening in Auckland

Fri 27 Apr
Time Venue/Notes Book Tickets
9:15pm Event Cinemas Newmarket  Q&A  Book 
Wed 2 May
Time Venue/Notes Book Tickets
8:45pm Event Cinemas Newmarket  Q&A  Book 
Tue 8 May
Time Venue/Notes Book Tickets
12:45pm Event Cinemas NewmarketBook 

Screens With

Other Cities

Key to symbols

Filmmakers and/or the subject of the film will be attending this screening.

Programme p.11