Advisory Warning: Some violent sex scenes, references and depictions of rape and sexual violence.
Bella’s ambition to rise to the top is met with the challenging, complex reality of working in the industry, as she upends her life from her humble roots in Sweden.
This is a sharply directed and compulsively entertaining portrait of an industry whose product is freely accessible but whose working reality remains shadowy.
After Thyberg premiered her short (of the same name) to great success at Cannes and Sundance in 2013, she subsequently spent years interviewing people working in the porn industry, both in front of and behind the camera.
Consequently, the film’s narrative has a deeply researched sense of authenticity that neither condemns nor celebrates the industry but instead offers an insightful and uncompromising portrait of a world that millions are familiar with but few will talk about.
Although Thyberg draws cinematic influences from the taboo-tackling films of Catherine Breillat (Romance, Fat Girl), the raw filmic poetry of Lukas Moodyson (Lily 4-eva, A Hole in my Heart) and the intensity of Ruben Östlund, (Force Majeure, The Square), Pleasure makes it abundantly clear that this is an excitingly original new voice in cinema.