She Male Snails

2012 Documentary

Caught between two genders, the artist Eli Leven and Ester Martin Bergsmark touch and caress each other, while they bath together in clouds of steam. A persuasive voice-off describes the often hard and painful growing process, which led them to choose to be neither males nor females. But something else entirely. While memories of adolescences scarred by homophobia and discrimination are presented, the audience is also captivated by poetic evocations of bodies, of snowy woods, water, nature, and snails: the symbol of androgyny. This movie moves the audience profoundly. It is a hymn to sexual fluidity, which reveals the search for the true self, rendered through the use of contrasting, vivid, and often acid bright photography. Intended as a television portrait of the transgender artist Eli Leven, it is a psychedelic docu-fiction, a hybrid movie inspired by Derek Jarman's Sebastian.