Morgana @ Fantasia

Though admittedly women have made some advances in regards to rights, treatment and equality over the past few decades there are still many ways they are second class citizens on this planet. The battle continues.

One such way is women and aging. Again, though it is a little better it still is reality that as a woman ages her sexual potency, attractiveness and appeal is seen to go the way of the dodo. Such is not the case for men. Films like Morgana, directed by Josie Hess and Isabel Peppard, are vital in the fight against such destructive thoughts/beliefs.

Morgana is a documentary filled with light and dark. Some moments which will really inspire while others will make you sad. It is this realistic kind of up and down nature which gives the film its power. Many will be able to relate to the feelings of the subject, even if you cannot imagine doing what she does. There are plenty of universal moments here, especially for women of a certain age.

Aussie Morgana had led a rather typical life for the first 49 years on the planet. She had gotten married and had a few kids. Wife. Mother. This is what society tells women they should aspire to. Yet she wasn’t happy. Worse than that she was depressed and decided to kill herself right around her 50th birthday. She was going to do one thing first though.

Morgana wanted to go out on a date and have sex. That part of her marriage, romance and sex, was utterly disappointing. Her husband was a cruel man who told her how unattractive and overweight she was. Morgana just wanted to feel appealing for one night. So she hired a male escort and went out on date topping off the evening with sex.

It all went so well that Morgana came out of it a new woman. It led to a sexual reawakening and the courage to explore that side of herself. She decided to divorce her husband and make a film. A porn film about her date with the escort. Continuing her revamping of her life she also makes the move from suburban Australia to city life in Berlin, Germany.

So many positive messages here. Being true to yourself is the road to happiness. Plus sized women are attractive and sexual beings. Importance of surrounding yourself with people who like what you do and you for the way you are. Not settling for a life of what society expects from you rather do what makes you happy. A 50-something year old woman can become a porn star and director.

Using interviews, verite, animation, archival footage, and Morgana’s films the story is constructed clearly and creatively by Hess and Peppard. They have constructed a film which is both personal and universal. Love how they have turned the idea that pornography is exploitative on its head. Showing it to be Morgana’s (and others, I am sure) source of freedom so she could embark on, for the first time in her life, a voyage of self-discovery.

You can see and feel all the love and care that went into the making of the documentary. They took their time (it took them five years to make the film) and told the story they wanted to. A real ode to reinvention and casting off the shackles of societal expectations. No matter what age or how you want to go about doing that.