Once relegated to the margins of society, pornography has emerged as one of the most visible and profitable sectors of the cultural industries, assuming an unprecedented role in the mainstream of our popular culture at the same time that its content has become more extreme and harsh, more overtly sexist and racist. This eye-opening and disturbing film tackles the complexity behind this seeming paradox, placing the voices of critics, producers, and performers alongside the observations of men and women as they candidly discuss the role pornography has played in shaping their sexual imaginations and relationships. Honest and non-judgmental, The Price of Pleasure moves beyond the liberal versus conservative debates so common in the culture to paint a myth-busting and nuanced portrait of how pleasure and pain, commerce and power, liberty and responsibility have become intertwined in the most intimate area of our lives. An ideal tool for initiating classroom discussion about this ... Written by
The Media Education Foundation
Goes beyond expectations to understand an industry
It'd be far too simple to make a film condemning the pornography industry as a whole; instead this film delves into the political and economic issues which have directed the most profitable form of entertainment to begin including violent and degrading acts to continue making profits as other themes in pornography have been exhausted.
First and foremost, I think it's essential to note that this film does not condemn pornography or sexuality in any form but rather it is questioning why within recent years the industry has been incorporating degrading acts as "shock factor" as new form of commercialized sex for the consumer to want to purchase. If anything, this film looks more into why this industry is striving to re-invent itself in anyway possible because of how ridiculously profitable it is. However, the shift in pornography toward including more violent acts is often at the expense of the performers (some acts are painful to perform, others can be risky health-wise).
The film also notes that the movement of pornography into the mainstream is no accident. Considering the vast revenues pornography produces, it's no surprise that the industry has been using their profits to have Capitol Hill remove restrictions on what types of films can be produced. I found this especially disturbing considering a lot of the legislation that had been revoked dealt with issues surrounding child pornography or the usage of young looking actors and actresses to portray children in sexual situations.
Overall, I think that this film doesn't condemn pornography but rather encourages people to be educated consumers of pornographic material. I didn't leave this film going "all pornography is evil!", but rather thinking about the impact certain themes in pornography has had on our culture and sexual behavior.
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