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Paradise Bent: Boys Will Be Girls in Samoa (1999)

An exploration of the Samoan fa'afafine, boys who are raised as girls, fulfilling a traditional role in Samoan culture.


Heather Croall


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Credited cast:
Derek Freeman Derek Freeman ... Himself - Anthropologist
Tania Grey Tania Grey ... Herself
Jeanette Mageo Jeanette Mageo ... Herself
Tom Pollard Tom Pollard ... Himself - Anthropologist


An exploration of the Samoan fa'afafine, boys who are raised as girls, fulfilling a traditional role in Samoan culture.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Gender diversity in Samoa








English | Samoan

Release Date:

1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Allokotos paradeisos See more »

Filming Locations:

Samoan Islands, Samoa See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


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Did You Know?


This film was produced with the assistance of the Australian Film Commission, the South Australian Film Corporation, SBS Independent, Channel 4, and the Australian Film Finance Corporation. See more »

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User Reviews

Examines the history and culture of Samoan men who chose to live as women, and how that institution has changed with modern western ideas of 'femaleness'
21 January 2002 | by Arion_StoneSee all my reviews

I saw this (and loved it) at the GL Film Festival in The City with another short documentary on Australian Aboriginal men who have chosen to live as women in a culture where they are not at all accepted. Paradise Bent was a moving and enlightening piece, but the combination really made me think a lot about how the dominant male paradigm affects those who live outside of those limitations. When you add Bombay Eunuch to this pair you really step out of our western male chauvinist universe - and appreciate how lucky we are here in so many ways, and how much we need to fight for the gender freedom of the next generation.

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