The 3rd Gender

Photographs: Douglas Maxwell
The 3rd Gender

It’s the year 2397, and members of the "third gender"—with female bodies and male minds, or vice versa—constitute the vast majority of the human population. When freak "heteronormative" Manten, a male with the mind of a male, escapes a government lab after 20 years of “antiheteronormative” conditioning, he goes on a meandering, melodramatic journey to…nowhere especially interesting. Writer-director Peter Zachari’s convoluted tale, set in a half-baked dystopian world familiar from The Twilight Zone and countless other sci-fi allegories, has modestly entertaining fantasy elements throughout. Lacking a coherent narrative or consistent internal logic, however, it fails to coalesce into a meaningful statement about progress and gender politics, leaving the audience to wander in a dramatic no-man’s-land.—Michael Gabriel Torres

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