Not a Love Story: A Film about Pornography
(Ç'est surtout pas de l'amour)
Format: 16mm Colour
Runtime: 70 min
National Film Board of Canada
Definitely the NFB’s most controversial film to date, Not a Love Story is the archetype of anti-pornography feminist sentiment.
Filmmaker Bonnie Sherr Klein and Linda Lee Tracey, a stripper, examine pornography using carefully selected examples of photographs, sex clubs, peep shows and films to provoke an awareness of how pornography affects the viewer. Klein and Tracey interviewed photographers, actors and publishers of pornography as well as feminist authors and theorists who have analyzed the phenomenon. (The people interviewed include Kate Millett, Suze Randall, David S. Wells, Marc Stevens, Ron Martin, Richard Snowdon, Patrice and Rick Lucas, Robin Morgan, Susan Griffin, Dr. Edward Donnerstein, Kathleen Barry, Margaret Atwood and Kenneth Pitchford.)
This indictment of pornography aroused considerable debate on the issue. Though few critics were as extreme as Jay Scott in the Globe and Mail, who condemned it as "bourgeois feminist fascism," some feared it would revive censorship. Ironically, the film was banned from theatrical release by the Ontario and Saskatchewan censor boards. Paradoxically, the film also became popular among porn enthusiasts who flocked to see the graphic imagery.
Most critics, however, praised its argumentative structure and its plea for love and sensuality over brutality. Not a Love Story has been the focus of ongoing debate by feminist critics on the nature and function of pornography.