Saturday, May 02, 2009

Orgasm Inc.

Liz Canner | 2009 | 73 min | US

Although Orgasm Inc. is ostensibly about the pharmaceutical race for the "female Viagra," it is really about the larger issue of the commodification of female sexual health and pleasure. The latest boogeyman coming from under the beds of the pharmaceutical giants is that of Female Sexual Dysfunction, or FSD. Orgasm Inc. peels away the layers of how the term originated and the shakey science behind the figures thrown around regarding it. Do forty-three percent of women actually suffer from FSD, or are drug companies creating a problem where none exists?

This feature investigates the key players behind the term's popularization and hype building, as well as those attempting to defuse it. Doctors, clinicians, therapists, and sex educators are all given a voice in the documentary, and the story unfolds over nine years, allowing larger developments in drugs and outreach to be explored.

Like several presentations at Hot Docs, this feature's weakest point is that is was never meant to be seen in a large theatre. The picture and sound were both of lower quality than they should have been for the setting. However, I'm sure it will be considerably easier on the eyes and ears for the intended television and home video audience.

The picture was thought provoking and the issues within are not covered as often as they should be. Certainly those people interested in pushing FSD are far more recognizable personalities than those fighting it. Orgasm Inc. is definitely worth a watch and a conversation when this makes it to a broadcast or video release.

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