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Mutantes: Punk, Porn, Feminism

Mutantes: Punk, Porn, Feminism (Mutantes: PunkPornFeminism)

Reviewed by Abby Johnston, Fri., Dec. 21, 2012

Celebration Day

Mutantes: Punk, Porn, Feminism

(Solaris Distribution)

The opening credits haven't fully dimmed when Virginie Despentes' latest documentary flashes its first S&M clip. The scene unfolds low-lit, jarring, and without introduction or explanation, and it's indicative of the DVD as a whole. Mutantes: Punk, Porn, Feminism then follows the rise of pro-sex feminism through the Eighties and Nineties with a dozen interviews of scene pioneers who sought to debunk the implied nature of the porn industry. Peppered in are adult film clips that paint an unapologetic picture. It's an illuminating thesis on power and the role of women in pornography, often written off by classic feminism as inherently counter to the movement. The documentary assumes prior knowledge – names such as Annie Sprinkle and Betony Vernon don't necessarily have recognition as equality leaders – while the punk component squeezes into the filmmakers following around queer band Tribe 8. To the initiated, it's an impressive roundup of academics and professionals, even if Despentes makes no effort to make Mutantes artful or subtle in the slightest. Then again, its raw, unfiltered nature drives the point home, so to speak.

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