Black and White and Sex

  • Running Length:1hr 32mins
  • Cast:Katherine Hicks, Anya Beyersdorf, Valerie Bader
  • Rated:R18 - Contains explicit sexual material

Session Times

    Australia, 2012
    Running Length: 92 minutes
    Cast: Katherine Hicks, Anya Beyersdorf, Valerie Bader, Roxane Wilson, Michelle Vergara Moore, Dina Panozzo, Saskia Burmeister, Maia Thomas, Matthew Holmes
    Director: John Winter
    Screenplay: Johan Winter
    Cinematography: Nicola Daley

    This striking Australian film delves into the realities of what it’s really like to be a prostitute.

    The whole film takes place on a large, stark set, surrounded by lights and cameras with a largely unseen cameraman lurking somewhere in the shadows. He asks the questions and ‘Angie’ answers them. She has a science degree, but she’s also a prostitute.

    The filmmaker’s agenda appears to be breaking the myth or the cinematic image of prostitutes. He talks about the various archetypes movies give us: the control freak, the man-hater, the psychologically damaged woman, the nymphomanic and the drug addict.

    Interestingly, ‘Angie’ is played by eight different actresses, each of whom brings something new and unique to the role. In this way we can see her as a whole, multi-faceted human being, sweet, vulnerable, angry, sassy, honest, disingenuous and much more. It also vividly presents the film’s central theme: that each woman is different, but when they work in the sex industry, they’re lumped together under a single label.

    As the director’s questions become more probing, she begins attacking him and the dialogue becomes a duel. One ‘Angie’ is certain to win since the man behind the camera refuses to let go of what he describes as ‘widely held beliefs’.

    The film doesn’t shy away from potentially controversial topics. Intimacy, possession, love, foreplay, submission, power-play and possession are all touched on with a frankness and honesty most have probably never encountered before.

    Shot entirely in black and white (something the issue of prostitution never is), the film looks spectacular despite its minimalistic set. All eight women give subtle, nuanced performances as different facets of a single character. This is a brave, singular and completely engrossing film and one that deserves a far bigger audience than it’s likely to get.

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