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Tiresia Review

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Tiresia is a Brazilian transsexual who is kidnapped by a client then stabbed in the eyes when withdrawal from hormone treatment turns ‘she’ into ‘he’

★★★★★

In Greek mythology, Tiresias was a beautiful, blind seer who was both male and female. In Bertrand Bonello’s hugely pretentious follow-up to The Pornographer, Tiresia is a Brazilian transsexual who is kidnapped by a client then stabbed in the eyes when withdrawal from hormone treatment turns ‘she’ into ‘he’.

Sheltered by a caring Catholic girl, Tiresia develops second sight and becomes the local oracle, attracting the attention of a priest. It makes sense to alternate an actress and actor for the role of Tiresia, but Bonello’s decision to cast the same person (Laurent Lucas) as the kidnapper and the priest — two entirely different characters — is wilfully stupid.

Flash-cuts of strong sex and violence (plus a gratuitous mutilation scene) add shock value, but destroy any poetic attempts to fit this ancient myth into the modern world.

Bizarre casting and production choices have resulted in a not altogether winning update of Greek mythology