To the question Do Communists Have Better Sex?—or as the Germans would put it, Liebtu Der Osten Andres?—the answer is neither yes or no. Instead, this 52-minute documentary takes us on a discovery of when, how, and, most importantly, where did they have better sex.
Do Communists Have Better Sex? brings together commentaries of a handful of historians and sexperts; found footage of interviews, commercials, and time pieces from Germany’s past; and, perhaps to keep us entertained and chuckling, animated clips of men and women who just can’t seem to keep their clothes on.
This is a film that backtracks time—beginning around the World War II-era—to understand the present, and the victories of those who reaped benefits from a more progressive culture in Germany. Communism with its historical foothold in Germany is dissected into halves—the East and West of a country divided by the Berlin Wall—and then examined closer for the elements comprising the two halves: its people, media, entertainment, religion, and biases.
Fundamentally important to the time and triumphs showcased is an understanding that the East and West observed far different cultures than one another. For instance, in 1972, abortion was legalized in the East, yet “in contrast to the West there was no public discussion” on that matter at all.
This OVID.tv film presses the line between good sex and too much sex
Sex is presented in this film overwhelmingly in regards to women. Women’s social achievements such as employment during war-time; the male gaze upon women, and the politics surrounding their bodies that followed; and women’s liberation from being stay-at-home followers to being independent leaders.
The question of the time became—and the question posed to us—Was sex an influence to communism or was communism an influence to sex? As one physician states in a clip of old footage, “The disavowal of pleasure is entirely foreign to Marxism.”
The documentary didn’t solely cover what takes place in the bedroom, but what shaped the youth as they broke from the modest, conservative chains of previous generations. Birth control, pornography, liberation from marriage—”That’s not really what people want anymore”—and love itself all received mention in the film as a way to construct the jigsaw puzzle of Germany’s popular culture. This inclusion, in this reviewer’s opinion, turns this documentary into something that offers more than the shock-value of sex. Rather, we get an in-depth look at a side of history that often gets the blind eye.
This documentary is not for the faint of heart or those who consider themselves prudish. As the title’s description reads, “This is about sex.” True, Do Communists Have Better Sex? is enlightening about culture and context of bygone eras. Yet, this is a film most for those inclined to see, hear, and learn more about sex, and how it influenced history.
Run Time: 52 minutes
For more information and to watch the film visit the OVID.tv webpage for DO COMMUNISTS HAVE BETTER SEX?
Director and Writer Andre Meier
Producer Heino Deckert
Cinematographer Andre Böhm
Film Editor Thomas Kleinwächter
Production Management Sebastian Gassner, Holger Kouschil
Sound Designers Peter Deininger, Mario Krauß
Images courtesy of Ovid.tv.
About the Author:
Margaret Smith is a writer, editor, and critic achieving her B.A. from Columbia College Chicago. Having migrated from small-town Illinois, she now dwells in Chicago with a curious eye for art and a penchant for commentary. When not putting pen to paper, you might catch her about the city sipping coffee and filling in crossword puzzles.