Film Reviews

REVIEW: Gun Porn

Hot Docs 2014

Gun Porn
Canada, 12 min.
Written and directed by Brahm Rosensweig
Programme: Canadian Spectrum (Toronto Premiere)

Americans love their guns. It’s a crazy obsession, as Michael Moore noted a decade ago in Bowling for Columbine, yet the USA’s trigger-happy zeal for the right to bear arms continues to soldier on. Far too many school shootings mark the days since the Columbine massacre, and this staggering number of senseless incidents continues despite increasing pressure from the public to stiffen gun control.

Gun Porn, a ballsy short doc by director Brahm Rosensweig, shows America’s love for guns for what it is: a gratuitous mania. It’s like a kind of pornography, as Toronto artist Viktor Mitic shows with his provocative art piece—a mix of found object art and contemporary sculpting—that takes a bullet-ridden bus around American. The film presents the creation and exhibition of the piece in a quick wham, bam, thank-you ma’am episode that underscores the lunacy of relaxed gun laws.

Gun Porn presents a gangbang of sorts as a quartet of Brampton gunslingers bring out their big guns and pump a school bus full of lead. (Don’t worry: there aren’t any kids inside.) The boys have at ‘er for a good five minutes. They pump round upon round of ammo into the bus—six thousand round to be precise—from a mix of handguns, rifles, and semi-automatic weapons. This isn’t a hunting party. It’s a full-on assault.

The final product, which Gun Porn shows being carted around the streets of America, is a haunting piece. It incites debate, for an art aficionado calls it “horrifically powerful” while a gun supporter looks at the annihilated bus and says that the consequences of gun violence noted in the piece shouldn’t influence Americans’ right to bear arms.

The film reveals the sheer senseless of America’s gun laws with its before-and-after presentation of the artistic process. The opening act shootout is an artless melee of pornographic action: Rosensweig gets right down to the rough and dirty action without much exposition. Alternatively, the reactions of the passersby who gawk at the bus—asking questions, taking selfies—in the second part of the film note the shrewd subversiveness of the project, for the school bus is clearly the victim of an offensive assault. The guns brandished by the artistic goon squad aren’t exactly paintbrushes, nor are they defensive weapons akin to those used to justify the right to bear arms. There’s no reason for guns like these to circulate as freely as they do and this smart doc makes a compelling argument in ten minutes that the American Senate still fails to grasp. If porn has a money shot, then Gun Porn has six thousand of them.

Gun Porn screens with the feature film Dress Rehearsal for an Execution
TIFF Bell Lightbox 4
Fri, Apr 25 8:30 PM

Scotiabank Theatre 7
Sun, Apr 27 5:00 PM

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