“Octopusalarm” is what Alex calls the stressful situations in which she, as a 14-year-old, attempted to ward off the inquisitive hands of the boys who wanted to get between her legs. These first sexual experiences were associated with immense fear, since the boys might uncover her differentness. Alex is intersex, a person who throws into confusion the precise division of the world into male and female. One in every two thousand babies is born with no clear gender. In Alex’s case, at the age of two, this caprice of nature was surgically corrected on medical advice. Following amputation of his penis and testicles and creation of an artificial vagina, Alex grew up in his small village to become a girl wearing clothes size XXL. In autumn 2002, filmmaker and radio presenter Elisabeth Scharang invited Alex, now 26 years old, to participate in her weekly radio broadcast. During the 90-minute programme, Alex became an “intersexuality activist.” For the first time, she told her story in public and described the torture inflicted on intersex children in order to adapt to society’s norms. The state of inner emigration into which Alex had withdrawn throughout her life so far came to an abrupt end. It was during the course of the first meeting between the two that the idea for this film came into being. Elisabeth Scharang followed Alexandra with her camera for three years. The two went traveling together, through Alex’s past and on to new friendships, from the coastal mudflats of Holland to the Californian Pacific. In the autumn of 2003, Alexandra decided to continue her life as an intersex man. Alexandra became Alex Jürgen. And from a documentary-film project about intersexuality arose the story of a person with a captivating sense of humor and an amazing perspective on the world.
Screening Schedule

No physical screenings scheduled.

Direction: Elisabeth Scharang
Script: Elisabeth Scharang
Cinematography: Elisabeth Scharang, Josef Neuper, Christian Schneider
Editing: Christine Öllinger
Sound: William Franck, Norbert Becwar
Music: Garish
Production: Wega Film
Producers: Veit Heiduschka
Format: 35 mm
Color: Color
Production Country: Austria
Production Year: 2006
Duration: 107'
Contact: Wega Film

Elisabeth Scharang


1997 Die Tage der Kommune
2001 Normale Zeiten
2006 Octopusalarm
2007 Meine liebe Republik
2014 Kick Out Your Boss
2015 Jack (fiction)
2023 Woodland (fiction)