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USA, 1979 (MIFF 1979)

Director: Paul Schrader

Jake Van Dorn, a deeply religious Midwestern businessman lives a happy life, until his daughter disappears on a trip to Los Angeles.

He hires a seedy private detective, who finds a sex film in which the girl has participated, apparently against her will. When the father realizes that he can't trust the oddball detective, he decides to conduct the hunt himself. Posing as a porno film producer casting a new movie, he gathers clues with ferocious determination. His treacherous journey gives him a fast, hard lesson in big city street life and a close-up view of the flourishing porno industry its victims and exploiters.

To help him make his way on this dangerous odyssey, Van Dorn forms an agreement with a hardened parlor girl' (Season Hubley) who acts as his guide. From opposite ends of the social spectrum, they exchange views and develop an ironic, tender friendship which further dramatizes the topsy-turvy state of current moral values.

This authentic drama was filmed on locations in actual porno establishments in San Francisco, San Diego and Los Angeles, often enlisting real denizens of this sub-culture for atmosphere, small roles and technical advice.

Paul Schrader

Born: 1946. Studied at the UCLA Film School. Wrote nine scripts, including Taxi Driver.

Features: Blue Collar (1978), Hardcore, American Gigolo (1979).

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