Genders Are There?
sukupuolia kaksi vai enemmän?
A short film about
gender, transgender and third gender.
by Teemu Mäki
29 minutes, 2018, 4K video, stereo.
Script, direction, edit: Teemu Mäki
Interviewees / performers:
Cinematography & color grading: Jarmo
Sound recording & mixing: Ville
Sebastian Bach: English Suite
#2 In A Minor, Courante
Many Genders Are There? / Onko sukupuolia
kaksi vai enemmän? is a short
documentary film about transgender people. It
consists mainly of interviews of transgender
persons. In addition to that there are photos of
a couple of transgender persons, at various
stages of their lives – and a bit of music by J.
By the time a human being is born it's usually
classified either as a man or as a woman. The
classification is based on how the child's
genitals look like: a penis makes a man, a
vagina makes a woman. However, the truth is not
as simple as that with all people. Some are men,
even though they may have feminine genitals.
Some are women, even though they have a penis.
They are transgender people. And some are
neither men nor women, but of third gender,
whose gender identity just doesn't fit into
binary gender categories at all. All of them are
The short film is a continuation of a
documentary theatre piece called TRANSFORMATIONS
— Rewriting Masculinity / Otteita
(2016). I wrote and directed the theatre piece
and we performed it in Helsinki, Copenhagen,
Tallinn and Tartu in 2016–2017. Maru Hietala,
Valto Kuuluvainen, Aro Mielonen, James MacDonald
and Venni Rechardt performed the piece live.
Through video also Annu Kemppainen, Lexie
Matheson and Jennah Vain participated in the
work. All of them are also in the documentary
I've also made photos on the same topic and with
the same people. I exhibited a few works from
the photographic series TRANSGENDER —
Images of Gender Diversity / TRANSIHMISYYS —
kuvia sukupuolen moninaisuudesta in
my solo show in MUU Gallery (Helsinki) in 2018.
Some of these images appear in the short film
too. Photographic portraits of transgender
people also belong to a larger series called How
to Be a Woman or a Man? / Miten olla mies
tai nainen?, which I've worked on
since 2004 and often exhibited. The works in the
series are photographic portraits of various
kinds of people and their relationship with
gender, family and mortality.
The short film is an autonomous work, but
simultaneously it paves way to a long
documentary film that I want to make.