The Loss of Sexual Innocence
**.9 GM
Starring: Femi Ogumbanjo, Hanne Klintoe, Julian Sands, Saffron Burrows


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This film is basically imagery. True, it's some very interesting imagery, some shocking, some engrossing, some compelling, some disturbing - but it's still mostly imagery with very little dialogue throughout.

The main thrust of the story is basically about how convoluted, complicated and frustrating human sexuality has become in this day and age - the rules, expectations and consequences it now has if done at the wrong time with the wrong person, etc. - as contrasted with the purity and innocence it used to have in its nascent stages. This is shown by interspersing the story of Nic (Julian Sands) growing up and having major turning points in his sexual identity and relationships with the fable of Adam and Eve (Femi Ogumbanjo and Hanne Klintoe) emerging from the sea and discovering the world, themselves and each other. Thrown in for good measure is the tangential story of twins (both played by Saffron Burrows) who grew up apart, know nothing of each other, yet still share a connection stronger than anything sex can bring them.

I'll include a disclaimer here - chances are my genius switch doesn't go to the levels this film is reaching in some minds, but the above is what I took away from it. Feel free to proselytize and condescend if you found deeper meaning than I.

Mike Figgis, director of the relentlessly disturbing and depressing yet darkly engrossing "Leaving Las Vegas," finally has enough clout to get this project made, something he's been working on for years. It's an ambitious project, slow by design but occasionally too slow, and it does stir some instinctual and complex emotions and thoughts, and if a film gets a person analyzing concepts like this and studying one's own relations to them, it has done its job.

Ogumbanjo and Klintoe make this film succeed, though, with the sheer bravery it takes to spend the entire film completely nude and not seeming the least bit self-conscious about it. Their natural curiosity and exploration is well-portrayed and comes across beautifully. Most film nudity is completely pointless and unnecessary, but in this case, it was absolutely essential, and the fact that these two are relative newcomers to filmmaking makes this accomplishment that much more awe-inspiring.

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