Stereotype acquires new meaning as ballooning ideas about violation, jocks, advertising, imagery, macho hypocrisy, and postcolonial identities are grafted onto a finesse-less cleft-screen strategy. Two DV cameras sometimes work together—cross-eyed, cockeyed—following five teens in Bolivia and the U.S. through various sexual initiations in whorehouse, virginal bedroom, locker room. Along the way, Sexual Dependency bears the scars of its seeming conception in a postcolonial studies course—all is rape and/or the product of a vicious racist male mind-set, and in case you didn’t get it, there’s a didacto-poetic frame-breaking monologue in the middle to Spell It All Out. The director is Bolivian, and his America is less despondent Nan Goldin than finely cut Herb Ritts-y frat boys pitted against PFLAG and Ntozake Shange-quoting drama kids. As theory, Sexual Dependency is no worse than a tinny artist’s statement, but as moviemaking, it’s brutally embarrassing, inexcusable.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on February 15, 2005