“I want my films to act as a reminder to myself and others that there is no expiration date on our sexual pleasure”.– Morgana Muses
I know this is not a horror movie (other than the horror of what happened to Morgana in her marriage), but holyshit, folks, we need to talk about this incredible documentary, MORGANA.
As a woman who’s approaching 50 and is becoming more acutely aware of how women who are aging slip into invisibility and are branded as “past sexy” and not desirable, I wept with relief while watching the story of Morgana Muses.
Morgana grew up thinking her only value was as a wife and mother; she married into a loveless, sexless marriage — one where her husband didn’t touch her in 20 years — and was ostracized by her peers and her family when she finally found the strength to get divorced. At age 47, she decided to hire an escort in order to experience human touch again, and the mind-blowing experience she had inspired her to write, direct, and star in her first porn film, DUTY BOUND, which won First Prize at the 2012 Petra Joy Awards.
Since then Morgana has made several arty feminist porn masterpieces and has won a slew of awards. She even filmed her 50th birthday party: IT’S MY BIRTHDAY AND I’LL FLY IF I WANT TO, that documents her being tied up by rope artist Garth Knight and ending up as her own artistic centerpiece.
This documentary follows Morgana over several years of her porn career, showing her stripped bare both physically and emotionally, including the incredible highs and lows she experiences due to mental illness. I had SO MANY feelings watching her journey, and it felt incredibly validating and empowering to “meet” a woman being so free with her sexual feelings; a woman society at large brands as “past her prime; “ a woman who doesn’t look like the typical porn star.
I would like to thank co-Directors Isabel Peppard and Josie Hess for making this film, and alerting me to the existence of an ICON — and also for opening up a world of feminist porn filmmakers to me, because HELLO YES I NEED THIS INFORMATION PLS.
100% recommend EVERYONE see this documentary, most especially women who are feeling unloved, undesirable, and defeated. Morgana might not fully believe it, but she’s an absolute inspiration.
See MORGANA streaming On Demand as part of Fantasia International Film Festival’s online program, August 20 through September 2.
Also, heads up – in case you’re wondering what Feminist Porn is (from the MORGANA press kit):
WHAT IS FEMINIST PORN?
Feminist porn is pornographic and erotic content created with an overarching sex-positive ethical framework guiding its practices. The term stems from the social movement of women’s sexual liberation.
The terms “sex positive”, “feminist” or “ethical porn” denote a belief that sex and it’s related pleasures are not inherently bad or wrong. Instead sex positive creators believe sex is a natural and healthy part of life for consenting adults.
This view follows through into sex work, with sex positive feminists rejecting the idea that all sex work is exploitative. Instead they see sex work as a viable economic and sometimes liberating choice for women.