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Ropes, belts, pneumatic devices, and clothes pins are put to eye-opening use in the feel-good-through-pain documentary Kink, a look at an adult-entertainment website devoted to sexual extremes. Director-cinematographer Christina Voros and her frequent collaborator, Oscar nominee James Franco (As I Lay Dying, Milk), pull back the curtain on the fetish empire of kink.com, the Internet’s largest producer of BDSM content.
Voros and producer Franco go behind the scenes at the San Francisco studios of kink.com and introduce us to those who work in front of and behind the camera, in the process delivering a “fascinating profile” (The New York Times) of an often feared and misunderstood industry.
In a particularly obscure corner of a business that operates largely out of public view, kink.com’s directors and “models” strive for authenticity. In an enterprise often known for exploitive practices, kink.com upholds an ironclad set of values to foster an environment that is safe, sane, and consensual, even as the bondage-and-discipline and sadomasochistic activities depicted seem to stretch the definition of “pleasure.” The people at kink.com aim to demystify the BDSM lifestyle and to serve as an example and an educational resource for the BDSM community.
In Kink, we discover not only a fascinating subculture, but also, in a world far from the mainstream, a group of intelligent, charismatic, and driven people who really, truly love what they do. The film, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, was widely praised upon its theatrical release. “The director, Christina Voros, adopts an educational approach that embraces the pleasure within the pain,” said Jeannette Catsoulis of The New York Times. “The doc is often terrific fun,” wrote The Village Voice‘s Alan Scherstuhl. Ethan Alter of Film Journal International said that it “does suggest the arrival of a great documentary filmmaker.” Slant magazine’s Drew Hunt said, “More than just a thorough examination of hardcore pornography, Christina Voros’ doc is also a sort of chronicle of the filmmaking process.”
Available February 10 from MPI Media Group (mpimedia.com).