Director Suzanne Hillinger just made a documentary on Pornhub. But if you scroll down Netflix and click Money Shot: The Pornhub Story Expecting to be shocked by the wild and crazy lifestyle of a porn star, you’re in for a different and potentially educational experience.

Hillinger and Alexis Johnson, the film’s editor, weren’t interested in making your average salacious sex documentary. Instead, they were much more interested in normalizing – and humanizing – the actual people on the other side of the screen who happen to be professional creators of porn content for a living.

Money Shot: The Pornhub Story director on avoiding the salacious

“It’s not a salacious film. So, yeah, I think maybe people will tune in because they’re curious — and hopefully they’ll learn something from it,” Hillinger said. Filmmaker.

“There are so many documentaries and narrative films that have come out over the past two decades about the porn industry, that even if they try to say something more nuanced, they still use the fact that they are people who have sex for a living as a similar way to draw people into their story,” she adds.

“You can’t see anything else about them – that’s all you think about because you’re human. So for me it was really important how we shot the interviews, for example – that the environment around each interview subject is an integral part of the setting, be it people in their homes, with details, lives and plants and pets and shoes in the background.

Money Shot: The Pornhub Story starts light, with real sex workers explaining how they got into the industry and started making a living with Pornhub.

Then it gets darker, exploring how many of them lost their livelihoods after major credit card companies suspended their payment processing through Pornhub in light of a New York Times editorial on the #TraffickingHub movement, which accused Pornhub parent company MindGeek of profiting from child pornography and non-consensual sex videos posted on the site by unverified users.

During a hearing with the Ethics Committee of the House of Commons of Canada as part of their MindGeek surveythe company denied knowingly monetizing any illegal content.

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On Thursday, MindGeek was acquired by Canadian private equity firm Ethical Capital Partners. According to a statement obtained by Variety.

Needless to say, the internet is far from perfect and there is still a lot of work to be done to prevent non-consensual sexual content from all websites, even those like Facebook and Twitter, not to mention porn sites like Pornhub. . Hillinger and Johnson do not claim to have all the solutions necessary to stop child sex trafficking from ending up in various corners of the internet, Pornhub or elsewhere.

But after watching Money Shot: The Pornhub Storythe publisher and director want audiences to walk away with a respect and understanding for sex workers and content creators who make porn legally, ethically, and consensually — and pay their rent while they’re at it.

boogie nights that was, what, over 20 years ago? But people still have this idea that this is the life of a porn star,” Johnson says. “A lot of the industry, especially because of OnlyFans – and even the ability to upload anything to Pornhub as a verified content creator or not – has put it back into the hands of porn performers. “

It also allows porn creators to make money off of non-sex stuff, like Siri Dahl, which appears in documentary charts for $30 a pop.

“We wanted to break that mould,” Johnson says. “I mean, one of our other interview subjects sells nail clippings and makes a really good living,” Johnson says.

Ultimately, say Johnson and Hillinger, sex work is just another form of employment, and they hope MoneyShot: The Pornhub Story gives audiences a non-salacious and realistic insight into the daily lives of sex workers.

“It was, I think, really important to change the perspective a bit. But also, it was one of the things that we really wanted to show is that sex work is work,” says Hillinger. “The job has its boring parts and its grumbling parts, so we wanted to film that and make sure it was also integrated into the film in a kind of laid back way. [content creator Gwen Adora] work. It’s his job. It’s what she does every day… normalizing it, because it’s a job people have and they get paid to do it. And there are many people who do. »

MoneyShot: The Pornhub Story is now streaming on Netflix.

Main image: Porn content creator Gwen Adora pictured in Money Shot: The Pornhub Story. Courtesy of Netflix.


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