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May 7, 2018 | by  | in Arts Film |
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Doc Edge Film Festival

“Let’s Talk about Sex”

Director — Lisa Burd

4.5/5 stars

Julia Sloane (Real Housewives of Auckland) throws us into a world of sexuality in New Zealand. It’s bizarre to sit down and watch a documentary on diversity helmed by the very woman who called someone the n-word on national television, but I set aside my misgivings and continue watching.

From exploring sex shops, to discussing homosexuality with her vaguely-conservative parents, Julia takes us on a journey of discovery around several sexual communities within NZ that I didn’t even really recognise. Admittedly, I’m not super fond of the shocking amounts of homophobia that her parents exhibit (that is cast aside as a product of “their time”), but that is quickly challenged by the diverse nature of the guests that speak within the piece itself.

In a vignette closer to home, Julia visits Wellington’s most elite brothel, Funhouse, and speaks to Madam Mary, the owner of the establishment, as well one of her escorts. It is an insightful look into the world of legal sex work in New Zealand, and definitely challenges misconceptions about the industry that I’ve personally held.

And yeah, it is an arousing piece. A lot of this documentary is about finding pleasure and pushing oneself to treat sex as more than just a mindless fling — to find eroticism in the simplest things and to challenge our own boundaries. It feels good to see this sort of content discussed openly on screen.

In all, Let’s Talk about Sex is a fascinating documentary, utterly lascivious, and a damn good watch.

“Believer”

Director — Don Argott

5/5 stars

Believer is a fascinating look into the Mormon Church and its struggles to accept LGBTQIA+ people. Dan Reynolds (the lead singer of Imagine Dragons) and Tyler Glenn (the lead singer of Neon Trees) attempt to reconcile their faith with their acceptance of LGBTQIA+ people — and in Glenn’s case, his own sexuality.

This documentary follows several months in Reynolds’ life as he facilitates the creation of a new music festival in Salt Lake City — the LoveLoud festival — designed to bring together people of all faiths and sexualities to learn about each other, and hopefully change for the better. The suicide rate in Utah is quite high, and that is thought to be because of the prevalence of Mormons and the limitations within their faith.

Reynolds discusses his own journey to acceptance, from being a Mormon missionary as a youth and openly preaching hate against the LGBTQIA+ community, to meeting his partner, and then coming to recognise the amount of sway and influence he has to his LGBTQIA+ fans because of Imagine Dragons. It becomes obvious that one of the things that helped him grow as a person was the love and care he found for his fans.

As a member of the LGBTQIA+ community and a fan of both Imagine Dragons and Neon Trees, a lot from this documentary resonated with me. It’s heartfelt, heartbreaking, and set to a rad soundtrack of Imagine Dragons songs.

You’ll cry. A lot.

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