Night Soil - Economy of Love
Melanie Bonajo, 2015, 32'46''

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Night Soil - Economy of Love portrays a Brooklyn-based movement of female sex workers who regard their work as a way for women to reclaim power in a male-dominated pleasure zone, their mission being to rearrange sexual conventions and ideas about intimacy itself. Vivid imagery is accompanied by a spoken score, revealing Bonajo's vision of contemporary spirituality and expectations surrounding gender roles by playful, sensual, and feminist-driven means. Power to the female body!

Night Soil – Economy of Love is an experimental documentary about a new movement of Brooklyn sex work activists. This feminist community regards sex work as a way for women to reclaim their power in a male-dominated pleasure zone.
In a world where the orgasms between men and women
are still poorly divided sex is used as a tool for political and social change. Obstacles are overcome through humor so a newfangled dialogue around the possibility of transformative pleasure through sex can take place. Their emphasis is on nurturing, educating and empowering both sexes around the power that lies within the female orgasm.
In a place where a swipe right on a smartphone can grant access to supermarket sex, where politicians hire prostitutes just to be cuddled, where loneliness increases in a disconnected physical world and where some modern medicines are harming sexual desires, these young women advocate for intentional erotic touch and a shifting vocabulary around sex work.
Their voices narrate the film, which is a product of the artist Melanie Bonajo’s vision on the subject, combining the spoken score with vivid imagery. The protagonists propose an alternative model in a world of commodified sexual desires, combined with perceived ignorance regarding conventions such as stigmatized visual culture (by the male gaze) and through advertisement. They address the ways monetary exchange might be questioned in an ultra-capitalist and increasingly sterile public and private sphere by bringing forward a contemporary spiritual approach to the body, a receding of the gender roles and the controversial healing potential of orgasms.
Immediate sensual appetites often collide with transcendental aspirations and culturally specific definitions of pleasure. Often referring to the ancient Sumerian tradition of sacred temple prostitution, they believe that giving pleasure to one’s body is just as a valuable an action as pleasing one’s spirit / and by opening up a space for nurturing both we as human’s will naturally be able to feel more in tune with the earth in a more connected universe.
Though their work remains illegal, they see it as a necessary step; this community represents the mobilization of women’s joint power and empathy towards a place where sex is not obscene, but empowering, not pornographic, but a place of mutual respect and a deeper understanding of ones spirit and body.

  • Date: 2015
  • Length: 32'46''
  • Type: Video
  • Copyrights: All rights reserved (c) LIMA