My Son the Pornographer

My Son the Pornographer

2008, Sexuality  -   26 Comments
Ratings: 7.55/10 from 141 users.

We want our parents - and by extension, the world - to see and appreciate us as we really are. That struggle speaks to the generational gaps that most of us have had to reckon with at some point in our lives. In the amusingly raunchy and surprisingly tenderhearted documentary My Son the Pornographer, this dynamic plays out in the extreme.

Art Holbrook is a 65-year old staunchly conservative Canadian who harbors a deep regret. Years ago, he began a relationship with a woman who had two children from a previous marriage – Gina and Kole. Even though that relationship ultimately dissolved, he managed to form an unshakable bond with her kids, and vowed to remain a strong and familial presence in their lives no matter what.

The children found no consistency or grounding after their mother moved away from Art. This was particularly true of Kole, who soon suffered encounters of sexual molestation at the hands of an older man. Upon learning of these episodes of abuse many years later, Art is stricken by a profound sense of remorse. He believes that this childhood trauma likely holds a direct link to Kole's wayward existence today, and his profession as a writer and actor in the pornographic film industry in Prague. Did he do enough to protect the boy he loved as his own son, and is there still hope that he can help Kole heal from these long-festering wounds?

Accompanied by a documentary crew, Art heads to Prague, and immerses himself in Kole's world. The comedy of culture shock ensues as Art integrates himself into Kole's circle of friends and co-workers. In the process, his severely judgmental instincts begin to soften as he reaches a new level of acceptance and surrender. In turn, Kole reconnects with the only real family he's ever known, and works to find the strength to reclaim a sense of happiness and purpose in his life. Amidst the delirious and outrageous world of amateur pornography, and the painful remnants of deep-seated trauma, a delicate love story between a father and son unfurls before our eyes.

With great humor and pathos, My Son the Pornographer speaks to our ability to find common ground and overcome any obstacle through love and understanding.

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26 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Lex Apollo

    It is easier to build strong children than to fix broken men. All it takes though is love and patience.

  2. Terrycarr

    This guy is/was so lost trying to have the porn business as his family is a cop out because he's afraid ,he says his mother/sister hates him ,no they didn't and he knows it they don't respect his trade a trade he calls his family therefore a little naievity creeps in on his behalf.He doesn't rate himself much yet what I see is yes a lost boy but a man to be found just waiting to burst out of this bubble he's in ,I'm certainly not gay but he's a handsome chap ,funny ,certainly dark but that's where he's been put with his experiences of life ,he's negative yet the light that can come out of him is untouchable ,he wants a proper family in his life what he doesn't know is it would take just one step one simple step from him out of the darkness into the light ,I believe his suicidal thoughts stem from him being afraid to take that step but bro believe me you have so much going for you it's scary ,have a little counsel and go from their I wish you all the luck in the world and more than that hope you refind your old family plus your new

  3. Clare hall

    Made cry with happiness,knowing how much love he give them kids , I take my hat off to him, wished my dad was that supported to us kids, xx

  4. Emma Nelson

    How brave these two men are - to start a conversation when so much anger, guilt and fear surround and threaten to consume them. I see love coming through and it is inspiring. An excellent documentary.

  5. maree

    This is a moving account of a man trying to understand his son.His attempts are hit and miss as he is dealing with a damaged person doing damaging things.Both men try hard to maintain normal relations as their love for one another could ultimately suffer.

  6. Polk Street

    Kole, I must say what a great father and husband you will make one day. The future is fantastic no matter what it may be. You are a prime example of what a human should be on this phenomenal planet. If your real father is alive, find him. You are an inspiration in so many ways. I cant wait till my friend Tom gets home from work so we can watch it together.

  7. miguel pate

    Great film. Kole is strong. His step dad is selfish even though it appears he's trying to help. All he really wants is to get over the guilt and shame he feels for having left the family and not doing anything to protect Kole and he wants desperately for Kole not to see him as he saw his own father. He doesn't understand what it's like to be a victim of sexual abuse as a child and to feel abandoned by your family. I will admit, he is TRYING to help but he needs to search his motives more deeply. Like in the beginning of the film Kole made a powerful statement, he said "You don't like me doing porn but you're here doing a documentary about it?". Lol. I think the step dad understood! Wait a minute, I'm not here for this.

    Kole gets it.

    1. Jatin Kaj

      I totally agree with you. All the man wants is some love and validation from his family.

  8. Judith Wilson

    Quite touching. It was fortunate that both were willing to reach out to one another. Both reaching out, patience and the need they both had for each other seemed to be the keys for this working out.

  9. tlspt48, so, so well done...glad to read that family is back wishes...

  10. Ivana

    It turned out that Art( the stepfather) wanted Kole( his stepson) to
    recover from trauma as soon as possible in order not to feel guilty as a
    stepfather anymore.That was completely selfish but I hope that in the
    end Art ,as well as Kole's sister can feel more compassion for Kole's
    deep and disastrous pain. Kole is deeply sensitive being and actually he's learnt his stepfather not to be afraid of hugging .

    1. $138279268

      At least the stepfather (who by the way isn't the boy's real father) was willing to show at least some semblance of adequate father-like qualities. The father is not to blame for what that molester did to this poor young man. The molester himself is. The molester is responsible for this boy's trauma and the hell he experienced. No one else.

    2. coryn

      Well, yes and no, and there's likely to be much, much more to the story. Retired and 77 I've had plenty of time to reflect upon my relationship with my deaf adopted 40 year old son, and there's so much there, some open and spoken, much otherwise. But that is the business of life I think, to learn how get along, to keep from killing one another in a flash of emotion, or shame or blinding anger..... Yes, they are fortunate they can talk together, something I never really achieved either with my father or my children.

    3. Candace Sturtevant

      My daughter's an actress. Her photos online make me wonder, if she's into doing porn acting as well. Of course, she's not going to tell me as her 1950's born mom sees that has "not so good". Why? Raised different: soap in the mouth, if cussed; sit in the corner, if misbehaved; marched back to the store, when stole a 1 cent piece of candy to apologize...

      It's not my world anymore, but the world of my children where you have to be practically naked to be anybody famous as a actress today.

      Forgive yourself, as I try to forgive myself. ;)

    4. coryn

      Hmmmm ...... forgive myself for being human? Yes, I can do that. Curious that parenting is a job one isn't really trained for, but that we learn by watching our parents, as they themselves are also learning. Yes, we're all victims of living, of stumbling across the stage of life wondering why we do this or why we do that. Sometimes I wonder if this is actually 'hell' and we just don't know it!

  11. dmxi

    i like molesters.....esp.when they dangle by their necks from my back-garden tree!sweetly swinging in the they're shuffling to a 'gary-glitter' tune!no remorse !-just an ill-feeling that that action of justice didn't/couldn't preemptively protect the victim(s).

    1. DougDeGrave

      They can't help it, "they were born that way". Don't be a bigot.(sarcasm)

    2. dmxi

      "they were born that way".
      me too.....forgive me my blood-stained fingers!
      ps.:i'm running out of rope....can you spindle?
      -the non-sarcastic one!-

    3. $138279268

      And by the way they were NOT "born that way". They know what is right from what is wrong and in all honesty, this man deserves whatever severely harsh punishment he gets/can get. So sad he didn't pay for it.

    4. dmxi

      somehow you got something wrong here,lass?

    5. $138279268

      Whatever do you mean?

    6. dmxi

      i believe you missed the offense.

    7. $138279268

      No, I know you were sarcastic. I was just being as honest as I could be. People tend to make excuses for these types of scumbags and I'm just deliberately going against popular opinion.

  12. coryn

    Very powerful emotionally...... personalities rubbing up against one another, some fit together, some don't. The son's eyes were so telling, as if all his pain was welled up behind and within those eyes. The father comes across as almost moronic at times, but also a victim of the powerful emotions sweeping through him.

  13. Margie

    The story of two incredible men who opened their hearts and were able to learn from each other and accept each other. I can appreciate Art's feelings of guilt but one thing that is often not addressed from the perspective of a child who has been sexually molested is their own tremendous feelings of guilt. Sex is powerful; imagine the immense self loathing of a child who knows he has been molested but gets caught up with the pleasurable aspect and allows himself to be repeatedly seduced. The child intuitively knows it's wrong but is drawn in to satisfy emotional and physical needs, needs that were devoid in this young man's childhood. His unmet needs of physical contact (hugs, human touch), acknowledgement/approval made him most vulnerable to molestation.

    1. leighatkins22

      Wow! It is rare that someone who has not been there, truly understands this horrific atrocity from the perspective of the victim, which makes me wonder...
      You've expressed this so masterfully, the whole world
      needs to read your statement. I know SO many kids who just
      LOOOOOVVVVVEEE me because I hug them without reservation & they just keep coming back for more. They know they can trust me to not be inappropriate or creepy, just affectionate, accepting & loving - the things that are clearly missing from their own lives, for some reason or another.
      Even if I've saved just 1 kid from the clutches of a molester, I've added to this world, more than they've taken. No-one cares how much you know until they know how much you care - so I care...