3.05.2006

REVIEW: Sex: The Annabel Chong Story (Gough Lewis, 1999)

Grace Quek, born in Singapore and raised in London, was at one time the most famous famous adult film star in the world. After starring in many films under the stage name Annabel Chong, she attempted to have sex with 300 men in a single day - a feat that would double the record set by a sex worker in Amsterdam. Ex-boyfriend Gough Lewis follows her experiences after the 1995 event in this acclaimed documentary that uncovers her motivations and delves into her deeper, more private side.

The college student and unique personality that is Grace easily remains herself with the trailing camera, providing an authentic glimpse into her daily life. Issues of gender equality, depression and especially sexuality are explored and attacked through her experiences. She lives how she wants, has a worthy message to deliver, and meets with plenty of opposition along the way.

Adult stars such as Jasmin St. Claire and Michael J. Coxx have appearances, expressing their own respective takes on Grace. I get the feeling some of their words and actions have been taken somewhat out of context, but they round out the film's expressed viewpoints nontheless. Also heard from are Grace's parents and friends, some of whom are ignorant to her status in adult cinema. Between these people and Grace herself, we join an emotional journey of social acceptance versus social change.

Surely provocative conversation - and potential steamy action - will be the result of viewing this well-assembled film. The issues involved are similar to that of Laurel Canyon, this time presented in a different context - reality. Why is sex so foreign to mainstream culture? It is the ultimate happiness. It is the ultimate human purpose... yet it is rare and often shunned. Grace suggests that it is far from being bad, and goes further with her core intention in proving that women are just as capable as men in being sexually superior.

During the event that set this media focus in motion, Grace managed to reach 251 men before submitting to pain. Her views, alternative to the moral majority, have in turn been rightly made public. If you are intrigued by the real world of adult film and open to exploring sexuality, you won't go wrong with the eye-opening Sex: The Annabel Chong Story.

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