The landmark documentary Every Body comes to Hampton Roads this week. The film about the experience of three intersex people has received great acclaim since its debut at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival.
In a country obsessed with gender, intersex people are often erased entirely. Sean Saifa Wall, Alicia Roth Weigel, and River Gallo are here to change that. Julie Cohen’s documentary Every Body recounts their individual experiences with stigma, social pressure, and nonconsensual surgeries performed on them as minors as they make the case for the much-needed rethinking of both archaic medical practices and binary ideas of gender and sex.
Cohen co-directed (along with Betsy West) the documentaries RBG, Julia and Gabby Giffords Won’t Back Down. She says Every Body was inspired by the story of David Reimer, a Canadian man whose botched circumcision led to him being castrated as a baby and raised as a girl.
The documentary allows its participants to guide this intimate portrait of life in between and outside binaries and creates something wholly unique in the process. Combining personal testimony with archival footage, Cohen directly engages with our country’s transphobic history and exposes how little has evolved in the way intersex people are viewed and treated by medical professionals and society at large. However, as these three incredible individuals show in this fearless film, a better future is not only possible but near.
Now Playing at the AMC Lynnhaven 18, Virginia Beach