"Porn is a common form of sexual desire. It's part of our daily lives."

A new Japanese movie is hoping to combat the taboo that exists around the porn industry.

The Daily Mail reports that a new film by soft porn (‘pink eiga’) director Takahisa Zeze hopes to eliminate the “prejudice” against the industry.

The Lowlife is an adaptation of a novel by erotic actress Mana Sakura. The film premiered at the Tokyo International Film Festival last week.

“The movie is about people searching for their place in the world, for their identity,” Zeze told AFP in an interview.

“I don’t think there was an urgent sense of wanting to destroy taboos when we set out to make the film. But hopefully it can go some way to helping break down the prejudices that still exist towards porn.

“When we were auditioning for the film, for example, some actresses turned down the roles,” he added. “They were okay with just taking their clothes off but they didn’t feel comfortable about playing a porn star.”

The film avoids criticising the adult video industry for exploiting actresses, which is the usual preconception of it. Adult stars including Saki Kozai had previously come out to say they were tricked into the industry. The Japanese porn industry issued a formal apology for the coercion claims.

Zeze’s film focuses on the human drama according to the Daily Mail. When housewife Miho (Ayano Moriguchi) makes her porn debut in the film, there is no indication that she was coerced into it.



“In my heart maybe I didn’t want to focus on the murkier side of the business,” said Sakura. “Obviously not everyone is happy, like in most jobs.”

“But not everyone is unhappy either. I feel that people too often want to draw the conclusion that all AV actresses are unhappy. Well, I’m not unhappy and I wanted to concentrate more on daily life, more on the light than the dark.”

“There have been all sorts of tell-all books about the world of AV,” she said. “But porn actresses are also just normal women who lead normal daily lives. Every year thousands of women make their debut in porn,” added Sakura.

“The girl next door could be a porn actress, or your friends could be. And while you can’t avoid stereotypes, hopefully this movie can help change perceptions a little bit.”



Using hand-held camera lenses, Zeze hopes to capture a voyeuristic feel to the movie. “I was looking to create a documentary effect,” said Zeze. “I didn’t want it to look like a work of fiction. The point was to show the regular side of life, rather than just the salacious part of the business.”

“Sexuality used to be taboo, but that’s no longer the case — we’re trying to show that porn is a common form of sexual desire. It’s part of our daily lives.”


 

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