Movie Review: Aroused

Posted on 2014.09.18

Aroused is a documentary about the making of an art book shot by photographer, Deborah Anderson. Seems common place enough, until you realize the subject matter is porn stars.

Anderson gathered together 16 of porn’s hottest leading ladies to model for an art book. They pose completely exposed on a bed, the only thing they’re allowed to wear is a bright pair of Jimmy Choo shoes. The documentary follows these women as they prepare for their shoot with Anderson. She talks to them as they get their hair and makeup done and then continues the interviews as they layout to pose in front of her camera.

The interviews are candid as the women discuss the assumptions they had before getting into the business, what they learned once they got involved, what their families thought about their career choice, their first sexual experiences, and what they love and hate about their industry.

A common assumption is that women in porn are failed actresses that turned to sexual exploitation only after they couldn’t make it in Hollywood. This documentary shows that this stereotypical thinking is vehemently untrue and that these women got into porn because they are sexual beings who enjoy sensuality and want to make a living at it.

Anderson has photographed some of the world’s biggest stars, but she found photographing porn stars daunting. As the world’s most sexualized women it was challenging for her to not just make them look “sexy”, but vulnerable and sensual as well. She wanted them to be seen as their other selves – the women behind the porn star name.

The first half of the movie is shot in black and white, but as the women start posing for their photos and talking about how they navigate personal relationships and how they deal with the judgement they face, the screen turns to colour and like in the Wizard of Oz you are suddenly able to notice the colour of the shoes, the shade of their skin and the blush of their cheeks, their eyes. They’re very real women, with very real emotions, and some breakdown crying as they talk about the things they’ve done in the name of stardom. Their industry is not a glamorous one and they all touch on the mechanical aspects of what they do and how they stay safe and healthy.

Experiencing an inside look at the porn industry through the eyes of its women is a fascinating one. Watch Aroused on The Aroused Project today.

Arroused the movie poster

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