Sex: The Annabel Chong Story


Middle 40-60% of all time (see others with this rank)

Festival Year

1999 (click here to see all competition films from this year)


Documentary Competition

Non-Cast Credits

Gough Lewis, Hugh F. Curry, David Whitten, Kathleen Curry, Suzanne Bowers Whitten, Jim Michaels, Tony Morone, Peter Mundinger, Bruce Fowler


On January 19,1995, Annabel Chong, a twenty- two-year-old masters student in gender studies, embarked on a marathon crusade to aecure fame, notoriety, and a permanent place in the hallowed halls of fornication. Her feat having sex with 251 men over the course of one ten-hour day, doubling the record set by a sex worker in Amsterdam. What motivates a woman to engage in the "world'a largest gang bang" and who this woman is comprise the subject of thin fascinating, disturbing, and intensely provocative documentary.

Cliches define female porn stars as typically deluded and aelf-destructive, victimized by the patriarchy that controls the industry and consumes its product. Such stereotyping assumes a state of disempowerment that Annabel Chong, an unrepentant, self-styled feminist, defensively denies. For Chong, pornography isa vehicle by which she can exert her will, nate her rampant sexual cravings, and assert her repugnance for societal repression and the "politically correct" constructs of sexual normalcy. But as the camera probes behind the rhetoric and hollow stare of its feisty protagonist, we begin to piece together the complex mosaic of Chong's inner nature and the troubled history that informs it.

At once explicit and candid, Sex combines multitextured storytelling, graphic footage of the Caligula-slyle gang bang, and behind-the- scenes interviews with Chong and her Singaporean family, colleagues, and friends. Made with Chong's guidance and full cooperation, this is first-rate filmmaking, a moving and shocking portrait of self-hood and the politics and psychology of sexuality.


Rebecca Yeldham (see other films reviewed by the same reviewer)

Film Takes Pace.