Thursday, November 22, 2012

Outing

This Austrian documentary profiles Sven, a young German man in his 20s. Talking directly to the camera, he recounts how as a teenager he recognized his sexual attraction to children. The filmmakers check in with him periodically over a span of 4 years, as he describes his struggle with his unacted desire for sexual contact with young boys. The filmmakers approach the subject dispassionately, almost dryly, & Sven puts his case directly before us without shame. He describes his compulsion to photograph boys in public, & we see how he meets men with similar proclivities on the Web. In a no-nonsense consultation, a sharp-minded Viennese psychiatrist tells Sven that his disorder is something he will have to accommodate himself to his entire life. The doctor then avers that a person becomes dissocial not because he is immoral but only when he has nothing left to lose. We see Sven working as an archaeologist, but he seems socially isolated. He does not want to hurt anyone, but he may be edging closer to having contact with boys. Having laid out Sven's situation, the film simply stops.

I saw Outing at the SF DocFest over the weekend. This was my 1st time being in the Roxie's 2nd theater. It's a tall, narrow space 2 doors down from the main theater. Even sitting in the middle of the auditorium, I felt a bit of neck strain looking up at the screen.

§ Outing (2012)
Documentary by Sebastian Meise & Thomas Reider
76 min., Austria | Germany

§ San Francisco Documentary Festival
Presented by SF IndieFest
Sat, Nov 17, 7:15 PM
Roxie Theater, House A

2 comments:

Michael Strickland said...

Wow, watching a German pedophile documentary at the Roxie 2 must count as some kind of heroic act of arthouse filmgoing.

Axel Feldheim said...

I wasn't too crazy about the Roxie's 2nd theater, but I have never seen this subject treated before. The filmmakers pretty much say this is not one man's personal problem, rather this is our problem. As far as we know, Sven has not done anything illegal, but will he even be able to get a job after this film?