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Porno e libertà (Porn to Be Free) (2016)

Director: Carmine AmorosoWriter: Carmine AmorosoPorno & libertà is a film documentary about the generation who fought against puritanism and censorship to defend freedom of speech and sexual freedom. From Italy, Denmark and France through to California, the film follows a group of rebels who started a battle against censorship through pornography. Together they shook the church, the politics and the institutions. Through uncensored exclusive footage and archive material, the film explores the story and the fights of a group of pioneers: from film director and porn pioneer, Lasse Braun, to Riccardo Schicchi, master of transgression such as the election of porn star Cicciolina in the Italian Parliament. The documentary features numerous other protagonists such as feminist porn director Giuliana Gamba, author Lidia Ravera and a short animation by Charlie Hebdo’s veteran Siné. Through their utopia and shocking dreams, they made the world a freer place and paved the way for forward-thinking debates today, such as neo-feminism, or the LGBT rights movement.”Porn to Be Free” traces the incredible development of porn – from the first photo shoots and publications in underground magazines to the entry into the cinemas. Europe’s Free Love and Graphic Sex are tools of protest in the fight against censorship and the bigoted morality of the 70s and 80s. In addition to interviews with contemporary witnesses such as the porn star “Cicciolina”, who later became a member of the Italian parliament, film clips and footage of the shooting show the moment as porn became revolutionary.

These are figures that speak a clear language: 25% of all searches have sexual content. The term “porn” is entered into Google 68 million times a day, while the ever-expanding market for pornography has generated revenues in the region of more than 100 billion US dollars since 2006. Sex sells, and that on a grand scale, so much is certain. But to find out how the sex industry, with its ever-driving forces, has been able to develop into such an influential business sector, it is necessary to go back a few years in time, certainly not to the prehistory, in which the availability and representation of human bodies on cave walls was also an early form of pornography, but until the late 1960s, when the big bang of commercial pornography can be spotted.
And Italy plays a very decisive role from this point of view, as the documentary Porn to Be Free by Carmine Amoroso (Cover boy) proves over a flush running time of a good 80 minutes. The first words that are made here are as follows: “Pornography is the revelation”. It must be mentioned that 1968 naturally has a very special significance in relation to the history of the development of pornography, since the sexual revolution taking place there in those days has made a significant contribution to a change in the face of public sexual morality and a de-tabuization of sexual issues in order to give this ideal revelation a real platform. The interviewees, among them Riccardo Schicchi, Lasse Braun and Ilona Cicciolina Staller, the Italian star of the 1970s, consistently verify: If you want to gain freedom, you have to live out the shamelessness happily.
Certainly, Porn to Be Free lacks the critical distance to the subject, when Amoroso in conversations only hymn-like hymns of nostalgists, who once found their personal elysium in pornography, And yet the filmmaker manages to provide a conclusive insight into the commercial awakening of the (Italian) porn industry, whose resurgence is due to the intimacy of desire: desire is the basis, the foundation, the foundation, the foundation to give subversive character to sex on the screen and the formalism of the authorities, which of course resisted any form of sexual realization with all their power. In this historical era, pornography was logically not only regarded as pure air satisfaction, but also acted as a political affront and as a self-debunking attack against the defense mechanisms of social puritanism.
This seems to have been the catalyst for the genesis of Italian pornography – and Carmine Amoroso traces this honourable path in “Porn to Be Free” because of its nostalgic self-openness, but quite succinctly. To get a conclusive insight into the commercial awakening of the national sex industry, “Porn to Be Free” is undoubtedly good.

Date: April 22, 2021