Daishi Matsunaga presented his documentary PYUUPIRU 2001-2008 (Japan 2009) at the Barcelona Asian Film Festival (BAFF), on May 8, 2010, drawn by the aim, to introduce the extraordinary person Pyuupiru, who is actually a well known Japanese artist, photographer and designer, moved by questions of gender identity, creating extravagant costumes, performances, and visuals. Director Daishi Matsunaga in his documentary on Pyuupiru shows a very personal and imitate portrait accompanying the protagonist and friend on his/her journey of transformation. Pyuupiru transformes from male to female, from amateur to professional, from juvenile to adult. We see his/her breaking through with a performance at Yokohama Triennale in 2005 as a compilation of his/her life experience and the final result of transforming to a female body. This film is an amazing, warm hearted portrait of an outstanding personality, allowing us empathic participation in gender troubles in Tokyo and its fruitful expression in performance and art. Also, it gives evidence of limitation, suffers and structural violence within a system of heterosexual dominance, or in the words of Judith Butler (1996: 23), «Inasmuch as ‘identity’ is assured through the stabilizing concepts of sex, gender and sexuality, the very notion of the person is called into question by the cultural emergence of those ‘incoherent’ or ‘discontinuous’ gendered beings who appear to be a person but fail to conform to the gendered norms of cultural intellegibility by which a person is defined.» In this sense, the portrait Pyuupiru Daishi Matsunaga’s documentary forms part of liberation and awareness building on gender matters, an insightful and important work.
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gender:visual:communication by Birgit Wolf is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.