Orchids – My Intersex Adventure

Orchids – My Intersex Adventure

Phoebe Hart

desired! – film lust & queer

»I have Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome (AIS). I am a woman with 46,XY (male) chromosomes. In my life, I have struggled with unwarranted categorisation and medical interference. Now, I actively seek to disrupt this cataloguing and meddling with as much honesty and humour as I can muster. It’s the reason why I wanted to make this film.«
– Phoebe Hart

Phoebe Hart’s happy and carefree childhood comes to an abrupt end when she is told that she will neither menstruate nor be able to have children. The reasons for this become a family taboo. Only when she is 17-years-old does her mother enlighten her about her intersexuality. Phoebe then undergoes an orchiectomy, from which she suffers emotionally for a long time. As a documentary filmmaker, Phoebe Hart wants to come to terms with her intersexuality and takes off on a filmic journey of self-discovery. Her sister Bonnie and Bonnie’s husband James support her in this. Her mother flatly refuses to take part in the film project. Together with Bonnie, Phoebe then travels all across Australia with her camera. In doing this she is confronted with other Australian intersexual people and together they learn from their shared experiences. Back home again, Phoebe is able to understand the difficult decisions that her parents had to face, and is overjoyed when they seem ready to be interviewed by her. Will an open talk with her mother provide the answers that Phoebe is looking for? In her autobiographical documentation Phoebe Hart draws a comprehensive picture of intersexual people whose lives in our times are still plagued with violence and who are treated as pathological.

Awards for ›Orchids – My Intersex Adventure‹
Best Documentary, ATOM Awards and 1st Film at Brisbane International Film Festival 2010 | Best Documentary Mix Copenhagen 2011 | John Deen Memorial Award Spokane LGBT Film Festival USA 2011 | Best Documentary Under One Hour at AACTA Awards 2011 | runner up prize für die beste Dokumentation, Hamburg International Queer Film Festival 2010 | Most Outstanding Documentary, Queer Fruits Film Festival 2011

Director / Script

Phoebe Hart


Bonnie Hart, Phoebe Hart


Vanessa Milton


Tfer Newsome, John Willsteed


Biddy Connor


Phoebe Hart – hartflicker Moving Pictures with The Australian Broadcasting Corporation


First Hand Films

Phoebe Hart

Since completing her film studies at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in 1995, Phoebe Hart has worked extensively as a writer, producer and director of factual television and media. She co-directed a documentary series on the state of Australian higher education for the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) called Downunder Grads, which was screened in March 2008. Phoebe also directed and co-wrote the ABC documentary Roller Derby Dolls on a group of women who play the rough-and-tumble sport of roller derby, which was screened in a prime-time slot in September 2008. In 2009, Phoebe was awarded her doctorate from QUT of which Orchids was a central element of her studies. Phoebe Hart is principal of hartflicker, an energetic Australianbased video and film production company.