12. La piel que habito

A Story of Imposed Gender and the Struggle for Identity1

  1. Marvin D'Lugo and
  2. Kathleen M. Vernon
  1. Francisco A. Zurian

Published Online: 21 FEB 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118325360.ch12

A Companion to Pedro Almodóvar

A Companion to Pedro Almodóvar

How to Cite

Zurian, F. A. (2013) La piel que habito, in A Companion to Pedro Almodóvar (eds M. D'Lugo and K. M. Vernon), Blackwell Publishing Ltd, Oxford. doi: 10.1002/9781118325360.ch12

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 21 FEB 2013
  2. Published Print: 15 APR 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405195829

Online ISBN: 9781118325360



  • Almodóvar;
  • gender;
  • individual identity;
  • La piel que habito;
  • sexual reassignment surgery


The film La piel que habito addresses a constant theme in Almodóvar's oeuvre, the strength of individual identity. It recounts the story of someone who, despite all the violent and barbaric acts to which he is subjected in an attempt to erase who he once was, clings to his life in the only way possible, by refusing to forget who he is. The story begins with Dr. Robert Ledgard (Antonio Banderas), an eminent plastic surgeon who, following the suicide of his wife Gal due to the extensive burns suffered in an automobile accident, has invented a new form of skin using the techniques of transgenesis. A new sex and gender is imposed on Vicente, to be completed by means of the makeup and clothing Ledgard sends to his patient/creation, Vera.