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Born to Be Human

Sheng er wei ren
dir. Lily Ni
Taiwan 2021, 105’
subtitles: Polish and English

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European premiere
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Theatrical Screenings
Fr 19 Nov, 15:15
Kinoteka 2
Kinoteka 2
We 24 Nov, 18:00
Kinoteka 1
Kinoteka 1
Online Availability
17 Nov, 10:00 – 29 Nov
Additional Materials
Awards and festivals
World premiere: Osaka Asian Film Festival Osaka Asian FF 2021 - Yakushi Pearl Award
Taiwan 2021
Duration: 105’
director: Lily Ni
screenplay: Lily Ni
cinematography: Huang Po Hsiung
editing: Liao Ching Sung
cast: Vera Chen, Alice Lee, Lily Lee, Yin Chao-te
executive producer: Kevin Yi
production: MM Square Film
language: Mandarin
colouration: colour

Film description

Shi-lan is fourteen and eagerly delves deeper into the world of video games as the relationships with his adolescent peers are becoming increasingly difficult. The weird physiological symptoms he is experiencing do not make his life any easier. And their cause is very serious – Shi-lan’s parents keep from him the diagnosis of sex development disorders. Without informing him about the real goal of the procedure, they subject the boy to a sex reassignment surgery, after which he will slowly become a girl.

The dramatic story of the young person is a rare cinematic attempt to portrait the complex experiences of intersex people and the multiple layers of misunderstanding they are facing – and an intriguing look at the gender norms in the Taiwanese society. It is also a universal story of a person who was denied their basic right to decide about themselves, served in a very moving form.

The director, inspired by a story of a person close to her, directs her message at a wide audience, looking for a way to raise debate about the rights of intersex people and the medical procedures they are subjected to. The leading role is played by a young Taiwanese actress, Lily Lee, who received the Yakushi Pearl Award at the Festival in Osaka for her performance.

Jagoda Murczyńska

Lily Ni

Director and screenwriter. She studied at the Beijing World Youth Academy, Boston University and University of Southern California. She made over a dozen shorts, including the award-winning "FeMale" (2016). "Born to Be Human" is her feature debut.


2021 Płeć: człowiek / Sheng er wei ren / Born to Be Human

2018 Date Night (kr. m.)

2016 FeMale (kr. m.)  

2015 Soulmate (kr. m.)

2015 Life As Smoke (kr. m.)

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