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5 user 15 critic

Chemsex (2015)

In hidden basements, bedrooms and bars across London, "Chemsex" is a documentary that exposes frankly and intimately a dark side to modern gay life. Traversing an underworld of intravenous ... See full summary »
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In hidden basements, bedrooms and bars across London, "Chemsex" is a documentary that exposes frankly and intimately a dark side to modern gay life. Traversing an underworld of intravenous drug use and weekend-long sex parties, "Chemsex" tells the story of several men struggling to make it out of 'the scene' alive - and one health worker who has made it his mission to save them. While society looks the other way, this powerful and unflinching film uncovers a group of men battling with HIV, drug addiction and finding acceptance in a changing world. Written by Peccadillo Pictures

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Documentary

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Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 December 2015 (UK) See more »

Filming Locations:

London, England, UK

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Production Co:

Vice Films,Vice Media See more »
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Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Interesting and valiant attempt to bring this issue to a wider audience
22 February 2016 | by Tom DooleySee all my reviews

I know a few gay men who are into the scene of so called 'chemsex' and they have absolutely no issues with it what so ever. This film highlights the stories of a number of gay men who have had extreme experiences whilst taking a variety of drugs in order to loosen inhibitions and thereby get more or have better and longer lasting sex.

The stories to camera are often extremely moving as most of the men suffer with the dual addiction of the cravings for the drug and more importantly the feeling that they are having the best sex ever whilst intoxicated. One man says 'if I have to spend the rest of my life sober then euthanize me now'. There in lies the rub. The problems come with the added risk of STI's via the sharing of needles and unprotected sex – especially with strangers in back rooms, saunas etc. There are scenes of actual sex in this film too and nudity.

Now this also features the work of an outreach programme located at 56 Dean Street in London's Soho and its commendable work. It is not the only programme though and there are a lot of people that can offer help. This could have been emphasised more in the film. Also it chose to tell the dark stories – we do not have anyone who is a recreational user and manages to get by having a fulfilled life etc which may have added balance. We all get that 'drugs are bad umkay'.

That said I am not condoning drug taking but I also do not want to denigrate a chosen life style if done in a safe and moderate way. Ultimately this is an engaging film that does have its heart in the right place and if it can help prevent men from having such calamitous and life changing experiences then it is all for the good. This is a good one to get for a rental – recommended.


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