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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Bodil Joensen was a captivating Rubenesque beauty with finely sculpted
European features and piercing eyes. Her tragic life has been
well-documented, from her childhood with an abusive mother to the
demons of drug addiction and prostitution that plagued her in her later
years. Of course, she became famous--or infamous, depending on your
point of view--for her career in pornography, a career which entailed
sex acts with a variety of animals.
"A Summer Day" was surprisingly a winner of the Grand Prix in Amsterdam's Wet Dream pornographic film festival for the year 1970. Not just a porn film though, "A Summer Day" shows us Bodil in her everyday life through photographs with family, magazine articles, and film. We see Bodil tending to her animal husbandry business, at play on the farm, bathing, and, of course, having sex with animals. This, obviously is not for all tastes, but it is a rather subdued film in regards to the chosen subject matter, and Bodil's real essence has never been so accurately captured in her film career. Many of the films Bodil performed in for Color Climax and such are just displays of bestiality. Here the focus is on her beauty and her love--both motherly nurturing and sexual in nature--for her animals, and it's surprisingly artful.
De Renzy's film Animal Lover culled some hardcore footage from this shoot via a Danish film directed by Freddy Hansen, though the scenes were extended for Animal Lover and eschewed art for clumsy exploitation.
If you've seen Animal Lover, there's only little reason to check this
film out. It's basically just some pretty shots of Bodil Joensen
parading around naked, washing up, and just lying about. Oh, they also
show some clips of her specialty as well. Actually some new footage
that wasn't shown in Animal Lover. But whatever, this short tries to
bring you, slightly, into the world of Bodil and make you see that this
is her life. She's not hurting anyone, she just has a very, very
peculiar sexual appetite. I'd be lying if the phrase, "What an idiot."
or something else negative didn't pop in my head while watching her
"working". But it's this movie which brings you to realize she's just a
tad different and it's not very difficult to accept her lifestyle.
Because, unquestionably she was unique and genuine.
And thanks to the other two reviewers, I also researched her life in more detail and unfortunately it's a pretty sad story. It'd be nice if a true documentary was made on her, but there probably isn't enough footage, and probably not enough people who could seriously deliver the truth. Though I could be wrong, and one day maybe I will be.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Well, I guess it can be argued that it's hard to call a film about one
of the most prolific beastiality performers "art", especially when said
films contain graphic scenes of human/animal copulation - but A SUMMER
DAY is about as close as your going to get to a "legitimate" and
artistic film that still contains scenes of a woman having sex with
Whereas the other well-known film about and starring Joensen, ANIMAL LOVER, is a thinly-veiled attempt at full-out exploitation wrapped in the guise of a "documentary" - A SUMMER DAY is a collection of footage that at least TRIES to humanize the person behind the "aberrant" sexual acts.
I for one do not condone or get off on acts of beastiality, but as I've stated in my review for ANIMAL LOVER, I am a cinephile who especially gravitates towards anything "shocking" or "controversial", and the works of Ms. Joensen DEFINITELY fall into that category. The story of her life and her true "love" for animals, both psychologically and physically, is at once touching, shocking, and quite sad. I suggest that the curious do some research and read up on Bodil Joensen's life - I assure you that it makes for some very interesting reading. A SUMMER DAY will obviously not be for all audiences, but for the open-minded or curious, I feel it will not disappoint...7/10
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