“20.000 Especies de Abejas: A Cinematic Ode to Trans Childhood and Family Dynamics”

In a poignant exploration of gender identity and familial bonds, the upcoming film “20,000 Especies de Abejas” captures the essence of a family in transition. Directed by Estibaliz Urresola Solaguren, this Spanish gem unfolds the story of eight-year-old Cocó, played by the remarkable Sofía Otero, as she embarks on a journey to embrace her true identity as Lucía. Set against the backdrop of a rustic summer in a native village, the film not only challenges societal norms but also delves into the complexities of family dynamics in the face of change. 

This powerful narrative, slated to hit cinemas on March 6, presents an emotional and transformative experience that resonates deeply with the LGBTQIA+ community. 

The heart of the film lies in Ane’s unwavering support for her child’s freedom to be who they truly are. Cocó’s entourage insists on using the name Aitor, a name that no longer aligns with her identity. As tensions rise within the family, the movie becomes a delicate exploration of identity, acceptance, and the struggles faced by those who challenge societal expectations. 

Director Estibaliz Urresola Solaguren artfully weaves a tale of self-discovery and acceptance, drawing inspiration from her own experiences with gender identity. The film reflects on the director’s childhood, marked by a fracture between assigned roles at home and societal expectations. Urresola Solaguren’s debut feature serves as a powerful ode to label-free identity, reminiscent of the impactful work of directors like Céline Sciamma. 

“20,000 Especies de Abejas” is not just a film; it’s a mirror reflecting the experiences of families grappling with the journey of their transgender children. In preparation for the movie, the director engaged with 20 families, offering a raw and intimate portrayal of their lives. This collaboration allowed the filmmaker to craft a narrative that not only challenges societal norms but also celebrates the positive impact of embracing one’s true identity within a family dynamic. 

The film’s lead, Sofía Otero, delivers a magnetic performance that earned her the prestigious Silver Bear for Best Acting Performance at the Berlinale, making her the youngest ever recipient of this accolade. Otero’s portrayal of Cocó captures the nuances of a coming-of-age story, navigating doubts, fears, and the struggle for self-recognition. 

Estibaliz Urresola Solaguren, born in Bilbao, Spain, brings a unique perspective to her directorial debut. With a background in audiovisual communication and film directing, Solaguren has already made a mark in the film industry with her short films. “20,000 Especies de Abejas” stands as a testament to her storytelling prowess, blending a documentary approach with a fictional narrative to create a film hailed as one of the most important Spanish works of the last decade.