Fantasia 2020: Our Review of ‘Morgana’

Fantasia 2020: Our Review of ‘Morgana’

Morgana Muses tells her story in her own words and images in a documentary eight years in the making. Morgana has a lot of reenactments of the key points in her recent life that she contextualizes with her narration. She shows herself walking down the hallway of a hotel. She’s coming from an appointment with a sex worker. She intended for that night long appointment to be a last hurrah before committing suicide.

But that session lit a fire inside her, becoming her gateway into the BDSM community worldwide. Morgana, in her late forties, also shows herself taking pictures with the diverse members of the porn community. There are a lot of archive photos and footage here. It’s like she and the movie’s directors Josie Hess and Isabel Peppard knew that they have a good story. And they do, capturing the excitement of someone’s baptism by fire.

Porn’s direct function is pleasure. And her existence as an older star with a bigger body empowers even people my age. The film and its subject are both aware of the facade aspect of body positive attitudes. But the message coming into the forefront pushes both the production and the logistics of her porn work. If anything, there’s a cagey-ness, as if it’s hiding something spoiler worthy for later.

Other visual tricks feel slightly cutesy, so much so that it takes away from total emotional resonance. But things get better when it becomes honest with the full picture of Morgana’s life. Her interview sections are probably the best anyone will see this year. And when she has a second coming out, it will make audiences want to check on their friends. Even porn stars need friends, ones who accept people for their sexual truths.

Morgana is available on demand for Fantasia’s duration.

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While Paolo Kagaoan is not taking long walks in shrubbed areas, he occasionally watch movies and write about them. His credentials are as follows: he has a double major in English and Art History. This means that, for example, he will gush at the art direction in the Amityville house and will want to live there, which is a terrible idea because that house has ghosts. Follow him @paolokagaoan on Instagram but not while you're working.
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