All Boys

All Boys

Finland, 2009, 72 Minute Running Time
Additional Countries: Denmark
West Coast Premiere
Genre/Subjects: Documentary, Drugs / Addiction, Gay, Sex Work, Sexually Explicit
Program: Documentary
Language: Finnish, English, Czech, German

DIRECTOR: Markku Heikkinen

Pornography has always been a hot button issue. Some speak out against it, while others champion porn’s pro sex consciousness. Gay male pornography has never been as polarizing as its straight counter-part, perhaps due to the absence of an overt power struggle between the sexes. But All Boys explores some questionable elements of gay porn during its boom in Eastern Europe after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

The film focuses on an American, Dan Komar, who moved to Prague to cash in on this growing industry, and examines the lives of several boys who live with him and work for him. Some of his actors are straight and attracted to the work because of the financial benefits. Some, like Ruda, are products of a troubled past. Ruda is world-weary for his 22-years, battling drugs and alcohol and turning tricks to survive — he’s a long way from the fresh-faced boys of Bel Ami (a casting director says that once the boys turn 20, they are considered over the hill by the industry.)

For a time, Ruda was not only Komar’s employee but also his lover; Ruda reflects on his meager earnings, clear about his place in the power structure. Although it is easy to peg Komar as an exploiter of young boys, the film portrays his humanity and loneliness — especially as he describes his failed relationship with Ruda.

Poignant without being didactic, All Boys is a probing look at the pitfalls and politics of gay porn. — DENNIS CONROY

Text Voting Code: D314

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