British Board of Film Classification

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XXY artwork


Type of media Film

Approved Running time 90m 42s

Release date 09/05/2008

BBFCInsight Contains strong language, sex and moderate sexual assault

Director(s) Lucia Puenzo

Cast includes Ricardo Darin, Valerie Bertuccelli, German Palacious, Carolina Paleritta

Cut This work was passed uncut.

BBFCinsight publication date 29/04/2008

Note: The following text may contain spoilers

XXY is a drama from Argentina about a 15 year old hermaphrodite Alex, who lives in a quiet fishing community, much to the confusion and fascination of the local villagers. The BBFC passed the film ‘15’ for strong language, sex and moderate sexual assault.

The language featured is infrequent, with only two uses of strong language and several uses of lesser language (e.g. 'jerk', 'prick' and 'shit'). This is easily contained within the BBFC’s current Guidelines which state that ‘there may be frequent use of strong language’.

The one sex scene in the film features the two main characters - Alvero and Alex - exploring each other's bodies, eventually leading to penetrative sex. An unusual reversal of gender roles plays out, as Alex gently turns Alvero's body over and anally penetrates him from behind - a complete shock to Alvero, who up until this point had no idea of Alex's sexual ambiguity. This is an unusual scene, but one that is in line with the BBFC's '15' Guidelines due to its lack of detail. Nudity is reserved to breasts and buttocks only, with a very brief glimpse of pubic hair - there is no genital nudity within the entire work. The Guidelines at '15' state that ‘sexual activity may be portrayed, but without strong detail’. This is also covers the scene which occurs immediately after, in which Alvero masturbates himself to climax behind a tree. The scene is filmed from behind, revealing buttock nudity only and quickly cutting to a close up of his face as he ejaculates (off-screen).

Finally, the one scene of sexual assault occurs towards the end of the film and features the character of Alex being attacked by a group of local male teenagers. The attack is not sexually motivated and is largely the result of the boys’ curiosity with regards to Alex’s sexuality. Despite being a potentially upsetting scene, the attack is cut short by the intervention of Alex’s friend, making the scene brief in terms of duration. This is in keeping with the current ‘15’ Guidelines, which state that ‘sexual violence must be discreet and brief’.


Peccadillo Pictures
Classified date(s)
Main language
Submitted run time
90m 42s
Approved footage
BBFC reference
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