Viewer advice: Contains high-impact sexual themes, sex scenes and sexual violence
Göteborg’s Best Feature Film winner fearlessly dissects the contemporary porn industry through the perspective of a young woman determined to be a star.
Linnéa has left her small Swedish town for a career in LA’s porn industry, changing her name to “Bella Cherry” on the way. At only 19, she’s ambitious, pragmatic and knows what she wants. But, in an industry that rewards you more the lower you are willing to go, what will be the true cost of her success?
The feature debut of writer/director Ninja Thyberg and based on her 2013 short film of the same name, Pleasure is a raw and unflinching exploration of what porn – the business and the product – has become today. Following years of immersive research, Thyberg has gained a sharp eye for every detail of the sector, and she eschews the male gaze to adopt the point of view of Linnéa (played by radiant newcomer Sofia Kappel) throughout. Most of the cast, excluding Kappel, are professionals in adult film, granting this fictional story a gritty authenticity in its interrogation of the line between employment and exploitation, erotic and ethical, and the perennial issue of consent.
“A coldly artful and explicit piece of anthropological voyeurism, and its subject is what pornography has become.” – Variety