2015 Hot Docs : ‘Exotica, Erotica, Etc.’

Exotica, Erotica, Etc.

Exotica, Erotica, Etc.

Exotica, Erotica, Etc. tells a story of mind crippling desire and heartbreak through the poetic narrative of Sandy, a former prostitute. Her words, lyrical and thick with nostalgia, give us a perspective on the women who exchange their love and bodies freely with foreign sailors. The film is composed of haunting clips and a poetic narrative that steals your breath with every word that comes from Sandy’s lips. Sandy is eccentric, passionate and crucial for the romanticizing of love for hire. Even at her elderly age, you’re hypnotized by her softness and vulnerability.

The mood was conveyed through philosophical monologues combined with the images of societies underbelly. Together they illustrate a collective misplacement of self worth that inspires the trade between the soldiers and ‘the women of the night’.

There were a few moments where instrumentals were added to the film, and they were impeccably placed. What really struck me were the audio choices that didn’t include instruments. The sounds of waves crashing onto metal of the ship and of women laughing and sharing secrets force you to realize that Sandy and these women are real. The weight of that reality and the burden that their hearts carry is sobering.

The director did an incredible job of making this film an indefinable piece of art. There was no cemented message on the perceived immorality of selling sex, instead the film showed us a very real and unique visual of what the lifestyle gives and takes away from the women. Without prejudice, you truly begin to sympathize with how the act of love is so much more than a bodily exchange.

The film was visually impactful, mentally stimulating and leaves you with a different understanding of people you might otherwise never encounter. Evangelia Kranioti has wonderfully given an eerie and romantic Greek tradition a worthy, penetrating illustration.

Exotica, Erotica, Etc.  will be playing at various theatres:

TIFF Bell Lightbox on April 29 @ 9:45 p.m.
TIFF Bell Lightbox on May 1 @ 4:30 p.m.
Scotiabank Theatre on May 2, @ 9:30 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased here!


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