Gendering Globalized Flows in Bertrand Bonello’s Tiresia

Christina Dokou


Presented as the conciliatory voice of wisdom, Teiresias, the blind Theban seer who had been both man and woman, exemplifies how transcending gender can lead to a questioning of normative, victimizing cultural mandates within the polis. This gender-bending acquires further applications in Bertrand Bonello’s 2003 film, Tiresia, about the myth-informed travails of a transsexual Brazilian illegal immigrant prostitute in France. The film daringly deconstructs the dividing lines within contemporary globalized flows: immigrants vs. citizens, men vs. women, dogma vs. humanity. The performative gender of “Tiresia” exposes but also exacerbates the effects of cultural violence, yet also intimates peaceful alternatives.


Anzaldúa, Glora. (1987) Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza. 2nd ed. San Francisco: Aunt Lute Books, 1999. Print.

De Beauvoir, Simone. (1949) The Second Sex. Trans. H. M. Parshley, with an introduction by Deirdre Bair. New York: Vintage, 1989. Print.

Butler, Judith. Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity. New York: Routledge, 1990. Print.

Eliot, T.S. The Complete Poems and Plays, 1909-1950. San Diego and New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1980. Print.

---. “Ulysses, Order, and Myth.” The Dial 75(1923): 480-483. Print.

Green, Andy, and Jan Germen Janmaat. Regimes of Social Cohesion: Societies and the Crisis of Globalization. Hampshire: Palgrave MacMillan, 2014. Print.

Grimal, Pierre. The Dictionary of Classical Mythology. Trans. A. R. Maxwell-Hyslop. New York: Blackwell, 1986. Print.

Jensen, Heike. “Pagkosmiopoiisi.” Fylo @ Erevna. Ed. Ntina Vaiou and Maria Stratigaki. Athens: Metaihmio, 2010. 311-343.

Lefkowitz, Mary R. Women in Greek Myth. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1986. Print.

MacInnes, Deborah. “Prophecy and Persuasion: Tiresias in Greek Tragedy.” Diss. Duke U, 1995. Print.

Martin, Stephen H. “A Comparative Study of Androgyny in Twentieth-Century Experimental Literature.” DAI 45:2 (1984): 517A. The New York U. Print.

McKibbin, Tony. “Film Notes.” Tiresia DVD package. London: Tartan Films/Tartan Video, 2005. Print.

Morice, Jacques. “Tiresia: Critique lors de la sortie en sale de 15/10/2003.” Télé 2015. Web. 9 November 2016.,129509.php

Quandt, James. “Flesh & Blood: Sex and violence in recent French cinema.” Artforum. February 2004. Web. 26 Jun, 2012.

Said, Edward. Representation of the Intellectual. NY: Pantheon Books, 1994. Print.

Scott, Joan W. “Gender: A Useful Category of Historical Analysis.” The American Historical Review 91.5 (1986): 1053-1075. Print.

Scott, Rachael. “Entertainment: Film & TV: Interviews: Bertrand Bonello.” 14 July 2005. PDF. 28 June 2012.

Segal, Charles. Sophocles’ Tragic World: Divinity, Nature, Society. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1981. Print.

Sophocles. The Plays and Fragments of Sophocles. Ed. and trans. sir Richard Jebb. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, c.1883. Print.

Steger, Manfred B. Globalization: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013. Print.

Stiegler, Bernard. “Tirésias et la guerre du temps: Autour d'un film de Bertrand Bonello.” De la misère symbolique: Tome 1. L'époque hyperindustrielle. Paris: Galilée, 2004. 163–185. Print.

Tiresia. Dir. Bertrand Bonello. Perf. Laurent Lucas, Clara Choveaux, Thiago Teles, Celia Catalifo, and Lou Castel. Haut et Court, 2003. Released by Tartan Films/Tartan Video, 2005. Film.

Vély, Yannick. “Tiresia.” FilmdeCulte. 2011. Web. 9 November 2016.

Full Text: PDF


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Amaltea. Revista de mitocrítica
ISSN-e 1989-1709

© . Universidad Complutense de Madrid
Biblioteca Complutense | Ediciones Complutense