Hot Docs – The Mechanical Bride

Can you love something that is not alive? This is the thesis question being examined in this very charismatic documentary about love dolls. Filmmaker Allison de Fren interviews a handful of individuals who have taken a different path to find true love along with those who create these objects of great affection.

These “real” dolls are sculpted from silicone by true artists. Each ultimately looks like a real woman who is trying to be a doll, which to some become almost human or perhaps in some cases something more than human.

It would be easy to make fun of these men or to take a feminist stance and attack those who use, create and sell these dolls as another example of the objectification of women that goes on in societies around the world. In fact after the film the director stated that was her original intent when she started the film, but after speaking to those immersed in the sub-culture she changed her mind. These men, almost without exception, spend an inordinate amount of time and money tending to their dolls, the majority in a non-sexual way. The dolls were higher maintenance than any live woman would ever be, especially with the relationship being so one sided.

Besides the fascinating topic, interesting subjects and the love taken by the filmmaker to portray these people this is also an expertly put-together film. Wonderful title sequences and graphics are used throughout the film to add to the sense of wonder. You can tell de Fren really came to like her subjects and as an audience member you follow suit and come to understand and like these subjects no matter what you think of their romantic choices.

The Mechanical Bride
Directed and produced by: Allison de Fren
http://www.hotdocs.ca/film/title/mechanical_bride

Written by Jason Poynton

Jason works on his feet all day, so when he gets some downtime his greatest joy is to settle in at a movie theatre and see a couple movies back-to-back, or in the the case of film festival season race around the city and see four or five in a day. Of course after the movies it’s time to eat and drink and talk it out with some friends.

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