Princess is a modern-day tale of revenge centered on August, former missionary turned unwitting uncle and guardian of Mia; the 5-year old daughter of his recently deceased sister, Christina. Gaining the nickname of “The Princess” in the porn community, Christina died from years of drug abuse leaving Mia to be[break] raised in the care of casual acquaintances all deeply-rooted in the smut industry. After seeing what the lifestyle has done to his family, August takes it upon himself to wage a one-man war against the industry and destroy all pornographic material related to his sister.
Often visceral and at times quite surreal, the film makes no effort to sugar-coat the anguish and the rage felt by both August and Mia. The darker side of human nature is explored and the horrifying aftermath is presented to the viewer uncensored and unmitigated. Much of what makes the drama palpable is the use of actual actors in live-action segments, which are interspersed throughout the animation. Whenever a VHS tape of the good old days is played, we see young August and Christina, not as cartoons but as actual people; far removed and totally unaware of the cruel realities their future selves witness.
The film succeeds in exposing the inherent hypocrisy present in the porn business. Many participants in the field take great pride in their work and even carry the number of partners they’ve screwed as a badge of honor. Consumers of the industry claim that they worship these actors and actresses like they’ve truly accomplished something and are deserving of respect, but have no problem watching them shamed and humiliated when the cameras are rolling. In many ways, Christina embodied this bizarre ritual. She was praised for how much money she brought to the industry but at the same time frequently molested and disgraced because of what her job meant. Even in death, the industry wouldn’t let her die with dignity as evidenced in a particularly crucial scene where August finds his sister’s grave adorned with phallic shapes made of marble and various sexual toys scattered about.
Princess is a film that delivers a much-needed primal punch to the gut of an industry whose sole purpose is catering to the savage needs of its consumers. There is ultimately nothing wonderful or pristine about it and the film shows that no matter how isolated an actress may try to be with her work, the effects of the life can still spread to their loved ones. Sometimes with negative ramifications.
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