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Writer of O

As a child growing up in New York, director Pola Rapaport recalls her teenage sister ardently trying to get her hands on a copy of of French author Pauline Reage's fiery, newly translated 1954 novel of erotica, THE STORY OF O, after reading a review of it in the newspaper. When Rapaport was old enough to read it, she became captivated by its violent sexuality--which she had difficulty believing to be the creation of a woman's imagination. In 1994, author Reage revealed herself to be Dominique Aury, an editor and translator at France's respected Gallimard publishing house--and a noted feminist--who composed O at the age of 47 in order to excite her married lover, literary giant Jean Paulhan--her senior by 20 years. Then, in 1998, during a trip to Paris, Rapaport's curiosity about this fascinating woman prompted her to contact Aury and arrange a visit. Their conversation was the inspiration for this personal documentary, which attempts to explain the evolving popularity of the book through a series of interviews, dramatizations of events from Aury's life, and softcore enactments of passages from the novel. The result is a touching look at a literary puzzle, with a little skin thrown in for the interest of the less literary minded.

GENRES - documentary