Movie review: The Artist & The Pervert

One of our members, Goblinoita recently went and saw the documentary movie The Artist & The Pervert at the Docpoint Festival. If the review peaks your interest in seeing the movie, you can still see it at the film festival. So head down to https://docpointfestival.fi/tapahtumat/elokuvat/the-artist-the-pervert/ and reserve your ticket for a screening.

 

The Artist & The Pervert — a kinkster’s review

The Artist & The Pervert (2018, dir. Beatrice Behn and René Gebhardt) is a documentary film depicting the controversial Master/slave relationship between a renowned composer Georg Friedrich Haas, and Mollena Williams-Haas, an american writer, performer, and a kink-educator. The film follows the couple for close to a year authentically capturing their life and journey while also interviewing their colleagues, friends, and family. It also dabbles into some juicy details such as Georg’s nazi parents and upbringing, Mollena’s former struggle with alcohol, and the difficulty with coming out and self-accepting as kinky when it goes against everything society and ideology would have them believe as right.

The core of the film lies within the beautiful relationship between Georg and Mollena: They are very sweet and caring for each other, and their time together is just filled with that bubbly energy. It really drives home that these people are not any different from any other people despite being the adorable perverts that they are. It is nice to see how their D/s relationship is so empowering for both of them and how their opposite energies feed into one another.

The filming feels natural as it captures the couple in their everyday life without trying to juice it up and focus on drama or the edgy side of BDSM, but without trying to hide it either. Instead the spotlight is on the dynamic and personality of our main duo, and the audience can get a more solid view on their personalities in different scenarios and moods. Despite this the film manages to tell a cohesive narrative utilizing Georg and Mollena’s first time doing a collaborative work on a musical piece. Georg’s work is very personal and ties itself neatly back into exploring both of the characters so it suits the storytelling well even if the viewer isn’t all too interested in following the artist part of the documentary.

Georg and Mollena both have had their own struggles in life and the films dabbles on them, but main focus is the hardship in coming out as a kinkster. Mollena’s side is mainly about living authentically and believing in her own values despite facing the critic of the outside world. As a black woman calling herself a willing slave she manages to offend people from an impressive spectrum of ideologies. Mollena’s determination to live her life according to her own values and to not take bullshit from anyone is both inspiring and empowering.

The focus on Georg’s struggles is more internal: he has long struggled with his desires of domination being in conflict with everything he believes in, and his childhood with abusive nazi parents certainly doesn’t make it easier. Personally I can relate to Georg a lot as a person in general, but especially in his dilemma with being a feminist who still wants to dominate women. It feels great to see how meeting Mollena has made Georg accept himself as he is and to be able to turn his “negative” desires into a positive force in his life. Even for non-kinksters this should be a powerful message: We are all more or less damaged beings, and have traits that can manifest in less-than-desirable ways, but most if not all of these aspects can be channeled as a positive force instead!

Funny as it sounds, BDSM in popular culture is heavily fetishized, which especially makes it a joy to have a true-to-life documentary without added drama or hamfisted edge that instead relies on the heartfelt life of the perverts and shows that they are just as normal as everyone else. I would especially recommend the film to BDSM-curious or vanilla people because it shows what kinksters are actually like in a way that is hard to find on screen otherwise. You also don’t have to be a pervert to appreciate the message of finding your own path of happiness in life, and how being the best person you can takes accepting every part of yourself fully. As kinky myself though, I just really liked seeing the happy goofers enjoying themselves fully as the perverts they are.

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