‘Mutantes’ is a documentary on pro-sex feminism by Virginie Despentes, originally conceived as an audiovisual complement to her book ‘King Kong Theory’.
Unlike the abolitionist feminist movement, the pro-sex feminist movement, which began in the United States during the 1980s, asserts that representations of the body and of pleasure are areas that must be taken over by women and sexual minorities and that pornography must not be subject to control by the patriarchal state. It also calls for the legalisation of sex work; female sex workers, porn actresses, strip teasers and lesbians have begun to speak out and to talk about themselves, generating a new culture that includes articles, books, films, documentaries, music, comics, artistic performances, etc.
Made up of about 20 interviews filmed in the United States, France and Spain, the documentary gives the floor to pro-sex activists and follows the evolution of the movement from the 80s to the present, from its pioneers and its successors to its proactive activists in France and Barcelona. It also reveals previously unknown images directly tied to the subject (excerpts from films produced by activists, updates on their activities, archives of their works, performances and street demonstrations, etc.)
Whether it’s referred to as Pro Sex, Post Porn or queer, the movement is a creative and revolutionary one that calls on us to reflect on what a pornographic image is, what sex work is, what gender is, and what the whole point of feminism is.
Disturbing, provocative and innovative, ‘Mutantes’ aims to play a saving role as it splits from popular discourse, which would have it that sex is best practiced in the bedroom, that women’s dignity depends on their ‘good’ behaviour and passivity, that the only feminist themes to be debated are gender violence and the wearing of headscarves.
‘Mutantes’ allows us to see that activists are already occupying other playing fields, inventing other ways of having sex and of thinking of sexuality and gender.
Interviewees: NORMA JEAN ALMODOVAR, MARIA BEATTY, LYNNEE BREEDLOVE, CATHERINE BREILLAT, SIOBHAN BROOKS, SONDRA GOODWIN, SCARLOT HARLOT, MARIA LLOPIS, LYDIA LUNCH, POST OP, BEATRIZ PRECIADO, CAROL QUEEN, QUIMERA ROSA, B. RUBY RICH, NINA ROBERTS, CANDIDA ROYALLE, ANNIE SPRINKLE, JACKIE STRANO, MICHELLE TEA, CORALIE TRINH THI, BETONY VERNON, DEL LAGRACE VOLCANO, LINDA WILLIAMS, MADISON YOUNG, ITZIAR ZIGA
*Virginie Despentes (1969, France) is a writer, novelist and filmmaker. She settled in Lyon, where she worked multiple odd jobs: Maid, prostitute in “massage parlors” and peep shows, record store sales, and a freelance rock journalist and pornographic film critic. She moved to Paris. Her novel Les Jolies choses, was adapted for the screen in 2001, by Gilles Paquet-Brenner, with Marion Cotillard and Stomy Bugsy in the lead roles. The film was awarded the Michel d’Ornano prize, at the 2001 Deauville Festival. In 2000, she directed her first film, adapted from her novel, Baise-moi, working with Coralie Trinh Thi, with Raphaela Anderson and Karen Lancaume as protagonists. Her controversial novel is a contemporary example of the exploitation films genre known as rape and revenge films.
From 2004 to 2005, she tried a form of writing at the intersection of diaries and journalism, a blog post on which she documents her daily mood. In 2005, she wrote three songs for the album “Va chercher la police” for the group AS Dragon. In 2006, she published a non-fiction work, King Kong Theory, which has also been translated into English, and recounts her experiences working within the French sex industry, and attendant infamy and praise associated with the aforementioned Baise-Moi. In 2009 she directed her first documentary, Mutantes (Feminist Porn Punk), broadcast on TV Pink. In 2010, her novel Apocalypse bébé, was awarded the Renaudot prize. Bye Bye Blondie was adapted for film with Béatrice Dalle and Emmanuelle Beart. Cecilia Backes and Salima Boutebal produced a stage adaptation of King Kong Theory, during the “Outside” Festival d’Avignon.