Julie E. Davin '17, Gettysburg College
Student Research Paper
Date of Creation
Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Documentaries about pornography are beginning to constitute an entirely new subgenre of film. Big Hollywood names like James Franco and Rashida Jones are jumping on the bandwagon, using their influence and resources to invest in a type of audiovisual knowledge production far less mainstream than that in which they usually participate. The films that have resulted from this new movement are undoubtedly persuasive, no matter which side of the debate over pornography these directors have respectively chosen to represent. Moreover, regardless of the side(s) that audience members may have taken in the so-called “feminist porn debates,” one cannot ignore the rhetorical strength of the arguments presented in a wide variety of documentaries about pornography. However, the ways in which these filmmakers use audiovisual rhetoric to convey their respective arguments are far from simple. My research explores and analyzes the various types of rhetoric that filmmakers use when creating documentaries about pornography. I also investigate precisely how these types of rhetoric are used, and why viewers find them so persuasive. My visual analysis focuses primarily on Jill Bauer and Ronna Gradus’s Hot Girls Wanted (2015), Bryce Wagoner’s After Porn Ends (2012), and Christina A. Voros’s Kink (2013) – the first offers a particularly negative view of pornography, the second a nuanced view, and the third a particularly positive view.
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Davin, Julie E., ""We control it on our end, and now it's up to you" -- Exploitation, Empowerment, and Ethical Portrayals of the Pornography Industry" (2017). Student Publications. 543.