American Taboo (1984)

Genres - Drama  |   Run Time - 87 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - R
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In this student film about lust and repression, a dour, unsympathetic man in his early 30s or so (Jay Horenstein) works as a photographer's assistant, though he aspires to be a professional photographer himself. He shows no interest in the models that go through the studio, or in the photographer's wife who is interested in him. Instead, he spends his time surreptitiously snapping photos of a young teenage girl who lives next door. Eventually, the young girl cajoles him into going to the seashore with her -- and in a graphic later sequence, their relationship becomes brutally sexual. Given that the identity of the girl is never fully clarified (is she related to the man?), the scene is all the more disturbing. Criss-crossed with failings that are common to amateur productions -- such as sequences that go on too long, slow and/or uneven pacing, and flaws in the acting -- this low-budget film still faces up to the issue of sexual taboos and attempts a story that is more than skin deep.



girl, teenagers, America, loser, seduction, sex, sexual-awakening