HOUSE OF GARY (2020)
Directors: Josie Hess and Isabel Peppard
Starring: Morgana Muses
Fantasia Festival 2020 Selection
Morgana details the interesting and emotional story of Morgana Muses, an Australian woman who threw away the shackles of domestic staidness to pursue an empowering and life-affirming journey into adult entertainment and porn. That may not sound overly interesting but factor in that Morgana was forty-seven-years-old and contemplating suicide when she took the plunge and suddenly the narrative changes. The documentary now becomes a raw tale of empowerment, success against the odds and tackling gruelling mental issues along the way.
Morgana fronts and narrates the seventy-minute documentary and bares all (in every way) to the viewer about her depressing experiences pre-awakening, the joys and ecstasy of making it in the pornography industry (even winning an award with her first feature that started the journey off) and the punishing mental health struggles that came with newfound success and expectations – including moving from Australia to Berlin and back again. The way the feature is presented by director Josie Hess and Isabel Peppard ensures everything always feels authentic and genuine and, of course, hearing the story from Morgana herself solidifies that. When she breaks down whilst recalling life events, it feels emotional, it feels like someone baring their soul, it feels like the brave move that Morgana itself is.
Alongside Morgana are interviews with directors, actors, photographers and members of the kink community who discuss Morgana’s impact and give more insight into the industry as a whole which helps to develop Morgana’s story and gives the viewer a behind-the-scenes look at the machinations of adult entertainment. It’s a documentary made with love and passion and that’s evident throughout the entirety of the runtime.
Morgana is an important feature for many reasons – it literally details how a sexual awakening saved someone’s life and as mentioned previously, it’s empowering and inspirational – the sequences of her fans in tears meeting her is testament to that – and delivers some real representation in a world that still needs reminding that “different” is OK. Morgana Muses runs head on against convention and comes out on top.
August 14th 2020