Instructions for Survival

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Available for screenings until

Jan 01, 2023

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About the film

Alexander’s transgender identity means he is obliged to lead a life of secrecy in his home country. Being identified as “female” in his passport means he cannot legally find work, either. Since even a visit to the doctor is a risk for him, he has begun hormone therapy to transition on his own with support from internet forums and the local transgender community. Desperate to escape their hopeless situation and leave the country, Alexander’s wife Mari decides to become a surrogate mother to finance their trip and get Alexander the access to medical care he needs . But their ostensibly pragmatic plan backfires when Alex and Mari gradually develop an emotional bond with the unborn child.




1h 12m




Yana Ugrekhelidze

Awards & recognition

Berlin International Film Festival

Teddy Jury Award 2021

Ann Arbor Film Festival

Best Documentary 2021

What people are saying

...Powerfully humanizes the statistics and headlines about migrants seeking asylum with its deeply personal, moving and ultimately hopeful narrative...

The Queer Review

...A salutary lesson in why the struggle for equality matters in day-to-day life...

Eye for Film

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