This 1969 film from trash favourite Al Brescia presents an interesting combination of mondo and “white coater” exploitation forms, apparently using the time-honoured defence of being educational as a means of getting around the censors - as when a discussion of the normalcy of voyeurism provides the justification for an voyeuristic candid camera montage of women in various states of undress.
The film begins with some classic Mom and Dad style birth of a baby footage, as the narrator’s voice-over emphasise the Freudian notion that the infant is already a sexual being.
A montage of clips of children and adolescents then follows, as the voice-over - soon identified as that of a doctor type - emphasises the importance of discussing sexuality openly and honestly with children and adolescents so that they grow up to be normal rather than deviant.
Unsurprisingly the film’s discourses around normal and abnormal sexuality are where its age shows. On the one hand, its defence of masturbation during adolescence as a natural stage in the development of a healthy adult sexuality was probably quite a progressive position for an Italian film to take in 1969. On the other, the lumping together of homosexuality with paedophilia, bestiality and necrophilia as perversions where the wrong object of desire is chosen seems rather dated.
The various vignettes address such themes of nymphomania, understood as a normal desire taken to excess rather than a true deviation; fetishism, featuring Franco Ressell and a mannequin to suggest a giallo connection; gender (re)assignment surgery, focusing on those born with ambiguous genitals; and a man and woman having their physical states monitored by doctors as they purportedly have sex.
An entertaining historical document.