"Hardcore" Documentary - About pornographer Max Hardcore, by director Stephen Walker
WARNING: This is a VERY graphic and disturbing documentary that tells the hard-core truth about the abuse that goes on in the pornography industry. It follows the journey of a young British single mother, Felicity, through her brief but brutally devastating time working in the the hard-core pornography industry in Los Angeles, California. It includes footage of Felicity filming a scene with the notoriously abusive and manipulative pornographer Max Hardcore. (Who is now in prison.)
Please proceed with caution and DO NOT watch this documentary if you are under the age of 18 or are very sensitive or easily upset by extremely graphic and disturbing content.
-- UK Independent article describing the director's extremely unsettling experience in filming the documentary.
"At first sight, Hardcore, a documentary about a young woman trying to break into the porn industry in Los Angeles, would seem to be just the latest contribution to this useful television genre. It turns out to be something quite different a documentary in which the innocence of the subject and the innocence of the film-maker crumble in tandem in front of your eyes. The result is both explicit and numbing a film about commercial titillation which ultimately leaves you limp with disgust."
"(Walker) "The fact was that I hated it. I found it depressing and numbing and totally unerotic. I was prepared to find that I found it extremely erotic and quite interesting. But the truth is that having been on about 26 porn sets, it felt like being in the bottom of a lavatory bowl after a while." The metaphor isn't entirely surprising, given the first job that Felicity secures a session of still photographs which required her to straddle a bucket and pee for the camera or the almost obsessional emphasis on anal sex among her potential employers."
-- London Evening Standard article written by filmmaker Stephen Walker about his ethical challenges in filming a documentary about the abusive pornography industry.
"My first experience of a porn set was, to say the least, unsettling. Richard had brought Felicity to watch a gang-bang movie. Ten men were having sex with one girl in a wrestling ring. The overwhelming impression was the stench: of bodies, of sweat, of various other excretions. It was a revolting spectacle, about as erotic as a butcher's shop. It was also, for obvious reasons, almost impossible to film. The best I could come up with was to concentrate on the litter of spent tissues on the floor. That, and the expression on Felicity's face, as she saw, for the first time, just what it was she'd got herself into.
But this was only the beginning. After a week, I'd seen just about everything. I felt sick. What do you do when a producer shows you snapshots of his wife and kids before filming a simulated rape scene? How do you cope when a director tells you he is running for mayor in his home town and then boasts that his movies make Belsen look like a picnic? The fact is, you don't. Trapped between your responsibilities as a professional film-maker and your sensibilities as a human being, you only hope that somewhere in your film there's a truth that needs to be told."
-- A feminist perspective on the film, written by Catherine Redfern.
"The maker of the documentary, Stephen Walker, did not have any agenda or secret opposition to porn. In fact, he intended to make a light-hearted film. Nevertheless, what emerged as Felicity was dragged deeper into the industry, was a deeply disturbing and degrading world. The agent, Richard, behaved as little more than a pimp, parading her around like a prize possession, constantly pressuring her to do things she had said she categorically did not want to do; and getting very angry with her when she continued to refuse. It became clear that if he persuaded her to do the more hardcore, disturbing stuff, he would get more money. It was obvious that he didn’t care for her sanity or her physical welfare, constantly pushing and nagging her to go further, introducing her to more and more hardcore film makers."
"The film exposed an industry run by men for men, in which women are to be abused, physically hurt and degraded, simply objects objects to be used, and offered no support whatsoever from the people who aimed to make money from their hard work. This was anything but empowering and light-hearted. If this is how certain sections of the porn industry really work, they are abusive, demeaning, harmful, sickening beyond belief, and I absolutely loathe it. And if saying that makes me some kind of radical, then so be it."
-- Guardian UK article: "In the first part of a three-day series on feminism, Katharine Viner asks how liberating these 'freedoms' (that modern women in the UK currently have) really are - and says it's time we stopped being so complacent."
"Large sections of the porn industry now make no pretence of representing healthy sexuality, the 1970s playboy cliche - its huge- selling stock-in-trade is the degradation of women. Even pro-porn campaigner and actress Nina Hartley has admitted this: "You're seeing more of these videos of women getting dragged on their faces, and spit (sic) on, and having their heads dunked in the toilet.""
"A devastating documentary investigating this new porn, Hardcore, was shown on Channel 4 last year. Director Stephen Walker followed a 25-year-old single mother, Felicity, to Los Angeles, where she wanted to be a porn actress. At the beginning of the trip, Felicity was bright, lively and certain about what she would not do (anal or group sex). She was taken by her "agent", Richard, to visit Max Hardcore, a hugely successful porn impresario who specialises in getting his actresses to dress in young girls' clothing, spitting and urinating on them, choking, gagging and inserting speculums into their vaginas and anuses and widening them to extreme degrees. She fled from the set when Hardcore forced his penis down her throat and started to suffocate her. Later, she took part in a sexually violent film directed by another successful industry figure who boasted that his movies "make Belsen (Nazi concentration camp) look like a picnic"."
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Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked Our Sexualitytakes an unflinching look at today’s porn industry: the stories woven into the images, the impact on our culture, the effects on us as men and women, the business machine that creates and markets porn, and the growing legitimacy of porn in mainstream media. Above all, PORNLAND examines the way porn shapes and limits sexual imaginations and behaviors.
Although we are surrounded by pornographic images, many people are not aware of just how cruel and violent the industry is today. PORNLANDshows how today’s porn is strikingly different from yesterday’s Playboy and Penthouse magazines — how competition in the industry and consumer desensitization have pushed porn toward hard core extremes. And, with the advent of the internet and other digital technologies, users don’t have to wander far to access porn; todaythe average age of first viewing is about 11 for boys, and studies reveal that young men, who consume more porn than ever before, have difficulty forming healthy relationships.
PORNLAND also looks at how our porn culture affects the way women and girls think about their bodies, their sexuality and their relationships. PORNLAND: How Porn has Hijacked our Sexuality argues that rather than sexually liberating or empowering us, porn offers us a plasticized, formulaic, generic version of sex that is boring, lacking in creativity and disconnected from emotion and intimacy.
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Saavi Accountability -- The only online accountability program that works with all online addictions. It is also the only program that sends notifications instantly via text message to an accountability partner so that they can be supportive when an individual needs it the most at the point of weakness, while they are accessing the online content. The software was created by a young man (26) who overcame his addiction and is trying to help others.
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"DEMAND" - A Documentary by Shared Hope International
This excellent documentary by the anti-sex trafficking organization Shared Hope International is about demand factors for sex trafficking, one of the most significant of which is pornography. It also addresses how all forms of commercial sexual exploitation such as pornography, stripping and prostitution are connected to all other forms such as sex trafficking and sex slavery. Please visit EndDemand.org to learn more about how demand for sex trafficking is created by those individuals (mostly men) who purchase women and children for sex.
For 2 minute and 12 minute versions of the above video, as well as more information from Shared Hope about demand, please click here.
Shared Hope International specifically focuses on fighting the demand for commercial sexual exploitaiton, including addressing pornography as a very significant demand factor for sex trafficking.
"Pornography is a marketing device for sex trafficking: It normalizes degradation and violence as acceptable and even inevitable parts of sex, and uses the bodies of real women and children as objects. The difference between pornography and erotica is clear in the roots of the words themselves -- porne means females slaves, eros means love -- so pornography, like rape, is about violence and domination, not sex. Millions of lives depend on our ability to separate pornography from erotica, and to disentangle violence from sexuality."
Gloria Steinem, 2006
For information about Gloria Steinem's important work of fighting against the harms of pornography, sex trafficking and other forms of sexual exploitation and abuse, including videos and an audio interview, please see our page on Gloria Steinem. Click here.
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