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Body Without Soul [DVD] [Czech] [1996]

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Body Without Soul
In this bleak documentary, the director and stars of a series of gay porn films talk about the sex trade in post-communist Prague. Pavel Rousek, a medical examiner, moonlights as a director of bulk teen-sex footage for export to Germany and other countries. In unflinching detail, he talks about his love of ripping apart corpses and of the porn-film scripts he carries around in his head. He also addresses the pitfalls of producing pornography, from cheapskate distributors to uncooperative performers who try to renege on their promises to engage in unprotected anal sex. Whereas Pavel speaks proudly of the manipulation and physical violence he employs to obtain the desired footage, a score or so of his actors and other boyish Czech sex workers offer a different perspective on Pavel's filmmaking techniques -- and on their careers as prostitutes. The film's title comes from one boy who declares that he is nothing but a commodity, a body for sale -- an attitude shared by many of his downcast contemporaries. At least one boy is infected with HIV, while others offer rationales for why they're not worried despite their constant engagement in unsafe sex both on camera and with clients. One of several similarly themed films from director Wiktor Grodecki, Body Without Soul follows the 1994 documentary Not Angels But Angels and precedes the 1997 feature Mandragora. ~ Brian J. Dillard, Rovi

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