Yermén is a transsexual woman in her mid-thirties who works as a spiritual guide and tarot reader, and films her neighbours and the neighbourhood’s stray dogs on a VHS tape from her run-down apartment on the outskirts of Santiago. The neighbours scowl at her and cannot figure out if she is a man or a woman, some suspect her of being a witch. Her boyfriend is secretly ashamed of her. Yermén dreams of changing her gender and decides to try her luck in a TV show, where the prize is a plastic surgery of her own choice. She meets an enigmatic immigrant who dreams of looking like Naomi Campbell. Just like her gender, the Chilean directing duo Nicolás Videla & Camila José Donoso’s film about Yermén is also “in-between”. Elements of raw, corporeal reality and documentary scenes shot on video in the middle of the night alternate with a minimalist fictional plot, which is primarily an opportunity to follow Yermén’s transformation into the person she has always been. If it is a scientific fact that one cannot observe a situation without influencing it, then Videla & Donoso’s film turns the problem into its very method.
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