Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Over 18 (2019) Festival of Cinema NYC

Documentary meditation on the effect of pornography on children and adults who view it and make it.

Measured and less shrill throw back to the anti-porn films of the 1980's which sought to end porn and adult films with the weight of one 90 minute film, OVER 18 is the sort of film I haven't run across in a long time a full length anti-porn doc. To be certain I've run across a great deal of anti-porn material but as a film that is out and about, in this case on the festival circuit, this is the first I've seen in a long while.

As a collection of largely one sided interviews, this is a film that is going to play best for the choir. Those that hate porn and want non-sensational discussion, there is nothing to sexy here, of some of the issues will eat this film up. If you want to see all the evils of porn and the industry this film is for you. Those looking for a well rounded and detailed discussion  are probably going to have to keep looking.

While well made,  OVER 18 suffers from several factors the chief of which is it only runs just over 70 minutes. Way too short to truly have a rational and reasoned discussion, the film simply puts it's view point out with an occasional peak at the other side. As someone who has been in the porn trenches for decades, both as a former manager of a store that rented VHS tapes and as an occasional viewer, I am well aware that the problems with the industry and, especially, its consumption are way way too complex to be solved in so short a time. Even if you assume it's bad for kids you are still left with volumes of questions that need answering - not the least of which are the larger and much more important one involving society in general and parenting.

OVER 18 lost me early on and just had me talking back to the screen with important questions it never ever tried to resolve.

Recommended only for those who want simplistic reasons as to why porn is bad.

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