Two of the approximately 150 million people with intersex traits in the world, the extraordinary central subjects—a beauty queen who embraces femininity and an activist employing gender-neutral pronouns—reveal divergent experiences of their bodies while their economic circumstances reveal two distinct sides of contemporary South Africa.
Through doctor visits, expressive vignettes, and frank discussions with intimates and between the central intersex figures, Who I Am Not questions prescribed ideas of gender. Sharon-Rose Khumalo is an affable, ambitious influencer with “male chromosomes in a female body” who courts validation, confronting dating and motherhood. Dimakatso Sebidi is a self-described “fish that lives on land,” scouring for work in a job market that rejects the difficulty of difference and seeking the truths behind the stories they have been told. In a remarkable feat of filmmaking, informative yet deeply artistic, actress-turned-director Tünde Skovrán depicts both the hardships and vibrancy of her subjects’ lives. For every unconsented surgery, there is an unendingly supportive partner. And for every wrenching detail, there is a poetic image to ruminate on. The result is an expertly edited testament to all that does—and does not—define us.