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original title:


directed by:


Nino Pezzella, Gunter Delle







film run:



16mm/DCP - colour

release date:


festivals & awards:

In the Spanish Quarter, right in the heart of the oldtown of Naples, there is still the phenomenon called the „Femminielli“. Men biologically, but similar to Drag-Queens embody a certain type of „Hermaphrodite-Cult“, with its rituals firmly in the tradition of the ancient past, which totally disappeared in the rest of Europe.
They fulfill several functions of society ranging from the profane to the sacrosanct. As fetish oriented harbingers of fortune they satisfy the heathencultural desire for expression of the subaltern proletarian. By means of their androgyny, they represent, in the eyes of their own environment, a traditional connection to the supernatural.
The Femminiello of Naples is not so much to be considered as folklore, but with its genuine and authentic theatrical and humorous form is rather of great cultural and aesthetic significance.
This experimental film documents the four Femminielli-protagonists by describing their personal circumstances. This is done by short intensive film cuts which depict many details of this cult and its social-cultural relevance. They embody a slowly vanishing antithesis to the current global-western oriented consumer- and communication society.
The most preferable stage for this film is the Spanish Quarter – where the Femminielli live – much avoided by the so called superior classes of Naples. This ancient „Hermaphrodite-Cult“ could maintain its natural breeding ground and be preserved by means of its architectural density and sociological structure – narrow alleys, mountains of rubbish, shrill daily noise, and black economy and crime.
This movie offers the viewer a new, expanded and surprising vista of the transgender world.