Film Review: YO IMPOSIBLE (Being Imposible) (Venezuela/Colombia 2018) ***

Being Impossible Poster
A young woman discovers she was submitted to several surgeries to correct her intersexual body as a baby. She has to find her own self outside gender binaries.


Patricia Ortega

Finding ones identity is difficult at the best of times, but what if a critical piece of your history has been kept from you? When Ariel (Lucia Bedoya) has sex with her boyfriend for the first time she experiences intense pain.  Her mother, who is quite ill and in hospital finally hints at the truth.  The mother gives her strict instructions to visit a very specific doctor but will tell her nothing else.  To make matters more confusing, Ariel has developed a strong attraction to her new co-worker, Ana.

YO IMPOSIBLE (BEING IMPOSSIBLE) is a film about intersex.  There have not been many films (The recent Human Rights Film Festival this year in Toronto had a documentary entitled INTERSEX), particularly fictional ones about this human condition, so Ortega’s film makes intriguing viewing, despite its slow pace and fact that it comes in Spanish from South America.

Otherwise, the film’s production values are apt.  The cinematography, particular the night scenes are well lit and certain scenes like the fist lesbian kissing scene is naturally blurred.

It is a slow paced movie that allows the audience to think and contemplate each segment – ow the protagonist feels and how she would react to different situations.

One problem of the film is that those entering the theatre before the film starts know that the subject is an intersex girl who discovers that an operation had been done on her without her knowledge.  The knowledge of this key plot point spoils the otherwise well built up climax to this point of revelation in the film – which takes place close to just after the film’s half way mark.

Ortega’s film is very sexual, but not in an erotic sense.  There are scenes with dildos that are used not for masturbation but for treatment of pain.  In  the sex scenes, Ariel is usually writhing in pain rather than pleasure.  But the pain is not always physical.  In Ariel’s words, when asked what hurts her the most, her reply is “the lie”.

Ortega’s ups the ante by including scenes at Ariel’s work in a garment manufacturing facility.  The other female workers are nothing short of nosy bitches.  Ariels’ s closest colleague turns out to be quite the nasty bitch, minding other people’s business.  When a new employee, Ana arrives and Ariel begins a lesbian affair with her which he closest colleague discovers, all hell breaks lost including a cat fight.  Ana is finally fired from work for being a threat to good morals.  This indicates the unaccepted state of gays in South American society.

The film contains a tacked on happy ending that otherwise spoils the film’s narrative flow.

The film is shot in Spanish.  Warning that the English subtitles are not perfect and arrive with a lot of spelling errors.  The film premiered at the SXSW Film Festival and will also be played at this year’s LGBT Inside Out Film Festival.