BS"D
TRUE SPIRIT

True Spirit, video, 17min. 2001. With Ace Goldberg, J. that kilted faggot, and JJ Bitch.

Two guys jump another guy in the stairwell and sexually assault him.

About 9minutes into the tape, an off camera voice calls out "cut". The three are resigned to sitting down together on the concrete landing. A firm voice behind the camera instructs: "After care." This is the term in sadomasochistic practices for the physical and psychoemotional maintenace which takes place after a sm scene, in which a dominant tenderly soothes the submissive.

The two lads instantly begin to embrace, kiss and caress the one who was earlier their vicitm. In a few minutes, the first off camera voice returns to say that the coast is clear, we can start again. There is a short review of blocking and a request from the victim to "smack me around a bit so we can get back into it." On cue from the director, they instantly get back into the assault as though there had never been an interruption, or any of the tenderness and intimacy of the earlier scene.

Inclusion of the aftercare, which typically is never seen on tape, confronts the last taboo, rarely adresssesd in sexually explicit video: empathy and intimacy. Placing the aftercare where it actually occurred in the shoot, ie in the middle of the tape and not at the end, gives the viewer access to the private world of these three people. In this way, the subjectivities of the submissive, the two dominants, the director and the viewer are interchanged.

The result is that the viewer simulatenously remembers and forgets that one is watching a tape from a safe distance. This is all complicated by the fact the the players are non-actors, which creates a kind of realism, and that they are all transsexual men, in different states of transition. This means that they to varying degress appear male, androgynous, and youthful. The viewer is put in a position of questioning their role in violence and consent, as well as their part in determining the gender identity of the players.