"Ban This Sick Filth" Review (Trouble Films)

A few months back, when I heard about how the U.K. was banning certain sexual acts from being depicted in porn, I have to admit I laughed. Oh, look at those silly prudish Brits! Doctor Who and crumpets, guffaw! Not even the infamous facesitting protests outside the Houses of Parliament made me take the issue seriously.

No, it took Trouble Films’ porn/documentary feature, “Ban This Sick Filth,” to open my eyes to what the ban truly is: an outright attack on female and queer sexuality and the independent filmmakers who produce it. It’s easy to forget that these socially conscious indie operations are out there, fighting the good fight. Needless to say, I feel like a bit of a tool now.

“Ban This Sick Filth” is a four-part compilation by feminist indie porn mavens Kitty Stryker, Pandora Blake and Courtney Trouble. Each section of the movie has interviews with actors and producers on their perspectives on the U.K. ban and similar laws in the U.S., and how it impacts them on both professional and personal levels. The rest is pure, wonderful smut, pointedly containing acts specifically banned, like fisting, squirting, spanking and caning, to name a few.

In terms of pornography, my favorite video was the first one, “Banned in the U.K.,” directed by and starring the lovely Kitty Stryker. It’s got a cute premise: Kitty — a self-professed anglophile in a blue TARDIS dress — invites her friends over for tea, and wishes she could move to the U.K. Her concerned friends tell her she won’t be able to perform her favorite sex acts on film across the pond. They then obligingly put her through a gauntlet of each and every one of those acts. Like you do.

I love this section for the same reasons I love most indie porn: The actors look like they’re genuinely having a good time. They laugh and joke with each other, even when wrist deep in Kitty’s … pussy. If you want a refutation of the U.K. ban — which justifies itself partly with concerns for consent — look no further. There is no director off-stage forcing the actors into anything; the director is on set with a nightstick jammed up her cooter. And that’s beautiful.

However, if you want the real lowdown on how the new law is affecting a British filmmaker, look no further than “Slight Damage to the Rear,” directed by Pandora Blake of dreamsofspanking.com. The porn video is a fun BDSM scene, but what really shined was Pandora’s interview. She’s an independent producer, like everybody else in this movie, but unlike the others she is actively breaking the law by selling her films. Pandora sums up the background of the ban and what actually is and is not affected by the law. It’s an impassioned plea against censorship and for the free expression of kink.

The other two videos, “The Temptation of the High Priestess” and “First Period,” are directed by Courtney Trouble and deal with ageplay. These videos didn’t do much for me, mostly because ageplay is not my thing, but the interviews are extremely enlightening.

If you want to spend money on porn, I recommend “Ban This Sick Filth.” The porn has that authentic, guilt-free indie vibe, and it’s a real eye-opener to the current state of censorship in the U.S. and the U.K. And as an added bonus, the proceeds from the DVD sales go to backlash-uk.org.uk, an organization dedicated to fighting censorship and aiding the independent producers affected by it. If, like me, you want to see more feminist porn out there, funding movies like this is an important step to doing so — while getting off at the same time.

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