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Sex: The Annabel Chong Story (1999)

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Ratings: 5.5/10 from 1,210 users   Metascore: 37/100
Reviews: 47 user | 35 critic | 14 from Metacritic.com

During a ten-hour period in January, 1995, porn actress Annabel Chong (1972- ) had sex with 251 men in front of cameras. The resulting video sold more than 40,000 copies (she was never paid... See full summary »

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Stars: Annabel Chong, Kerri Downs, J.P. Anthony
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Annabel Chong ...
Herself
John T. Bone ...
Himself (as John Bowen)
Ed Powers ...
Himself
Walter Williams ...
Himself - Prof. of Anthropology: USC (as Dr. Walter Williams)
Charles Conn ...
Himself - Friend and Classmate
Dick James ...
Himself - President: Annabel Chong Fan Club
Monica Moran ...
Herself - Friend and Classmate
Steve Austin ...
Himself - Talent Agent: World Modeling Agency
Jim South ...
Himself - Owner: World Modeling Agency
Al Goldstein ...
Himself
...
Himself
Lanisha Shanthi Easter ...
Herself - Friend and Former Lover
Mr. Quek ...
Himself - Father
Mrs. Quek ...
Herself - Mother
Allenina W. ...
Herself (as Alan Wong)
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Storyline

During a ten-hour period in January, 1995, porn actress Annabel Chong (1972- ) had sex with 251 men in front of cameras. The resulting video sold more than 40,000 copies (she was never paid the agreed-upon $10,000). This documentary tells the story of that day and connects it to Chong's life as a student at USC and as the daughter of a middle-class Chinese couple in Singapore. Annabel talks to the camera about her decisions; the camera also follows her to an AIDS test after the world-record-setting sex fest and home to Singapore, where she visits her parents who do not know about her profession and friends and professors who do. Should she tell her mother? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

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Details

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Release Date:

11 February 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Sex: I istoria tis Annabel Chong  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$12,489 (USA) (11 February 2000)

Gross:

$233,076 (USA) (6 October 2000)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The 250-man gang bang was halted early due to concerns over the rough treatment Annabel Chong was receiving. See more »

Quotes

Annabel Chong: [on the possibility of getting AIDS] I believe the sex is good enough to die for.
See more »

Connections

Features World's Biggest Gang Bang 2 (1996) See more »

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User Reviews

 
or, the rise and fall of Grace Quek.
26 April 2000 | by (moscow, russia) – See all my reviews

For about half its length, ANNABEL CHONG is a bright, light, unexpected, vibrant, witty documentary. Annabel Chong is Grace Quek, a Singapore-raised English anthropology student at the University of South California, who became a porn actress after an unenlightened feminist tutorial, as an expression of sexual freedom. She became famous in 1995 when she broke the world record for sleeping with the most men (251 in ten hours), and became a fixture on programmes like THE JERRY SPRINGER SHOW.

Grace herself is a very likeable, seemingly together young woman, with the teeth of Goldie and the accent of Jane Seymour, who decides to become a 'stud' to critique masculinity. She seems in complete control of her career and her image, and, as her world record is revealed straight away, there is no conventionally contrived documentary 'success'.

The film is sharply funny as it explores the strangely haphazard and hugely lucrative pornography industry. Many of its denizens, with amusingly childishly suggestive names, find Annabel's antics distasteful and degrading, confirming the image of sleaze the constant display of computers are trying to conceal. The marketing men are either aging, pony-tailed relics who are easy to laugh at, or the younger, can't-quite-believe-their-luck jocks who can't stop giggling.

Unfortunately things become more sinister as the pressure begins to tell on Annabel. She is quite clearly not in control, and the film constantly undermines her claims to independence, as she dances for a bunch of slavering perverts. These latter don't care what incomprehensible post-structuralist jargon comes out of her mouth, as long as she delivers the goods. In fact, this feminist liberation goes beyond their wildest dreams - a woman who is actually looking to them for it.

This we might have expected, but more repulsive revelations begin to leak out. Not only do we assume that she is tacitly forced into the event by leeches who can see a sucker from a mile off, but she isn't paid, she is quickly abandoned for an even more photogenic cash-cow, and most horrific of all, we discover that the health and safety standards for the event were criminally lax.

This becomes a deeply and properly misanthropic film in which, I think, the filmmakers, if I may say so under IMDb guidelines, collude. Produced and directed by men, the film is formally weighted against Annabel. The more images and 'reality' contradict Annabel, the less we listen to her voice, the more we listen to others, squeezing her out. Music (for instance the repetition of 'Amazing Grace') is used to ironise Annabel, and there are a number of occasions when the film's ethics are seriously in question, and not just the obvious contrivances of many scenes.

Little 'narratives' are slipped into the story (eg does Annabel have AIDS?). In one, she hasn't yet told her mother, and the film uses this very private and damaging dilemma to generate suspense. Frequently, Annabel doesn't seem to be in control, and yet the filmmakers watch her slashing her wrists so they can offer a neat thesis on different penetrations of the body. The film is careful to record the different groups of men who use and belittle Annabel (TV shows, the porn industry, her old teachers, Cambridge students etc.), but don't seem to notice their own culpability.

The film becomes seriously depressing , and while it is quite right to give an audience lured by the sensationalist title a shock, a play with gender identity, a critique of filmmaking itself, the filmmakers seem to have crossed a line, where they have become as exploitative as the porn producers. In one scene they revisit the site of a rape; in another they gang up with us and an informed teacher on an unknowing Annabel. The frequent shots from outside looking in invoke a voyeuristic model, and maybe the documentary is intensely self-aware, but the increasingly moralistic drive is only at the expense of Annabel Chong.


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