Tuesday, November 22, 2005


"Kinsey" is the story of Alfred Kinsey, the very controversial sex researcher of the 1950's. At a time when the only sex education that was being taught was abstinence and only in a general health class, Dr. Kinsey was feeling the lack of information and that amount of rubbish that was being taught as fact. People just didn't have any information about sex, who does it, who does what, what is permissible, and what is possible. His interest in the subject came because of some sexual issues early in his marriage and his need as scientist to know the solution. There is also a deep undercurrent of sexual repression from his father.

Dr. Kinsey initially starts to advise some of his science students and then more and more start coming to him and Dr. Kinsey inquires about a sexual education class that could be held at his University. He also begins an exhaustive study (pun intended) into the sexual behavior of human males with a follow up study on females to come later. Any question that could be asked is asked and the findings are shocking to many, though not likely shocking to today's audience.

My expectation for the movie that it would be start to finish sex and nudity. I think this is from some of the negative, one sided reviews that portrayed this movie through a certain moral lens. It isn't. The movie is filled with talk about sex, and as it should be considering the subject. There is sex and nudity, though not nearly as much as one would expect. While there is a good deal of sex as the movie progresses, it is far less revealing than it could have been.

The real surprise that I had was that this was a good movie, better than I had anticipated. I was all ready to dislike the movie and I couldn't. Well made, well told, and while it does celebrate Kinsey and his work (ending with a woman telling an older Kinsey that his work saved her life and helped her to have a healthy relationship with another woman), "Kinsey" does not hide his faults, obsessions, and uncomfortable beliefs (such as that there is nothing wrong or immoral about pedophilia). The film shows the great strides Dr. Kinsey helped America take in sexual education even when America wasn't truly ready, but doesn't hide the negative.

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