In August 2008, filmmaker Brian Fender posted an add on Craigslist to solicit volunteers for a documentary project. He invited “subjects” into his living room to strip down and reveal themselves physically and emotionally through personal stories about their relationship to their penises.
When I was originally asked if I wanted to review “D**k: The Documentary”, a film in which men talk about their genitalia while naked, I initially hesitated but when I read some more about the movie, it sounded intriguing so I went with it. While there are various shows and movies out there that deal with women, their bodies and their sexual experiences, shows like “Sex and the City”, “Masters of Sex” and “The L Word”, I couldn’t, off the top of my head, recall one about men and their sexual organs. Director Brian Fender successfully attains something very rare, an insightful film that deals specifically with men, their penises, what it’s like having one and how they deal with it every day and he creates a very moving and at times, funny memoir.
The title of the film alone set the stage for the film to fail on so many different levels, especially given the fact that every man that is interviewed stands completely naked in front of the camera from the neck down so you never actually see their faces but that focus eventually becomes secondary as the men start talking about anything and everything, from their earliest recollections of masturbation to their very first sexual experience. There are all kinds of men interviewed throughout the movie, straight, gay, black, white, circumcised, uncircumcised, tall, short, big, small and at the end of the day, irregardless of all of those labels, they all possess that one, undeniable facet that undoubtedly, they cannot live without: their penis.
One man talks about having been molested as a child and for him, that constitutes his very first sexual experience while another man states that he was 15 years old and was seduced by the mother of one of his friends and to this day, he still considers it one of the best experiences of his life. There is talk about gaining an erection at the worst possible time and then losing one at the most opportune occasion and director Brian Fender keeps the overall tone of the film entertaining yet provocative and surprisingly, not in the least bit awkward. Listening to each of the men herein is what grabs your attention, granted, the visual aspect, in the beginning, is somewhat uncomfortable but the men and their stories and anecdotes is what eventually wins you over. I would recommend this film as it’s a very insightful glimpse into the male psyche but if you’re easily offended, you might want to avert your eyes elsewhere.
“Dick: The Documentary” is now available exclusively online at indiepixfilms.com
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