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I wrote this post some while back after seeing the film in the internet. I was hoping it would get a DVD release at least but, sadly, it looks to be languishing in touring with few screenings. Anyway, without further ado –

No, I’m not reviewing a porn film, at least, not directly. Instead it’s a documentary called 9 to 5: Days In Porn. The last documentary film I watched on this subject was Sex: The Annabel Chong Story which I cannot recommend highly enough if you want to be thoroughly and utterly depressed.

9to5 is not so focused on one individual, preferring to take a slightly broader look at some of the people in the adult entertainment business who treat it as just that, a business, and have chosen to make their living from it. Some have taken to it as a career, some a way to earn a bit of extra cash quickly and some see it as a stepping stone to bigger things.

The director treats the subject matter as his subjects do; as a way to make a living. There’s little in the way of salaciousness on display, the documentary camera preferring to hang back and observe what’s happening on the periphery as well as the main stage. At the end of the day he manages to make the erotic industry thoroughly unerotic as video shoots are shown to be stop/start affairs where the performers look bored between takes, lounge at bars, chat on the phone, drink beer and wait for the paycheck.

The documentary follows a number of people in the industry; performers, directors, agents and health care staff. All of these people are given free reign to speak their mind and there doesn’t seem to be any manipulation to play up anyone as a hero or villain. Some come across better than others but this is probably as much a product of the viewer’s own prejudices rather than anything else. There are a couple of participants who appear unsure of their motives for being in the business (aside from money) and tellingly, it is these who seem to have left the industry when the credits roll. We also learn that one “is better” which is a relief. We never know what is wrong but there’s an undercurrent through the feature.

This is a very interesting and entertaining documentary, but one that will probably be heavily censored if it ever surfaces on a UK DVD. That would be a shame as it would undermine the tone of the piece that this is an industry populated by willing participants. Recommended.