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March 28th – April 2nd, 2017 / Cinema Muzeul Țăranului & Cinema Elvire Popesco / the 7th edition


Directed by: 
Cinema Muzeul Țăranului - Friday, March 31, 2017 - 18:00
Cinema Muzeul Țăranului - Sunday, April 2, 2017 - 20:00
Written by: 
Melanie Bonajo
Melanie Bonajo
Orly Nurany
Michael Beharie
Joseph Marzolla
Melanie Bonajo
Romanian Premiere
With the support of

Screened at the International Film Festival Rotterdam, Night Soil – Economy of Love portrays “a Brooklyn-based movement of female sex workers, regarding their work as a way for women to reclaim power in a male-dominated pleasure zone; their mission being to rearrange sexual conventions and ideas about intimacy itself. Vivid imagery is accompanied by a spoken score, revealing Bonajo’s vision on contemporary spirituality and expectations surrounding gender roles, by playful, sensual, and feminist-driven means. (…) Bonajo questions the complex relationships that exist within and without the natural world, challenging the traditional notions that divide nature, people, and technology.” (Galerie AKINCI)

Melanie Bonajo

Born in 1978 in the Netherlands, Melanie Bonajo was educated in art at the Amsterdam Gerrit Rietveld Academie and in New York at the School of Visual Arts. She is a filmmaker, visual artist and photographer. Her works address themes of isolation and eroding intimacy in an increasingly sterile, technological world. Bonajo’s experimental documentaries often explore communities living or working on the margins of society, either through illegal means or cultural exclusion. Her previous short film, Night Soil – Fake Paradise, has been selected in the Tiger Awards for Short Film Competition at the International Film Festival Rotterdam 2015.

Festivals, awards: 
  • International Film Festival Rotterdam - Tiger Awards for Short Film Competition 2016
  • Hong Kong International Film Festival
  • Videoart at Midnight Berlin
  • Athens Digital Arts Festival
  • Shortfilmfestival Hamburg
  • Sarajevo Film Festival
  • Berlinische Galerie
Director's statement:
In a place where a swipe right on a smartphone can grant access to supermarket sex, where politicians hire prostitutes just to be cuddled, where loneliness increases in a disconnected physical world and where some modern medicines are harming sexual desires, these young women advocate for intentional erotic touch and a shifting vocabulary around sex work. Their voices narrate the film, which is a product of the artist Melanie Bonajo’s vision on the subject, combining the spoken score with vivid imagery. The protagonists propose an alternative model in a world of commodified sexual desires (...). They address the ways monetary exchange might be questioned in an ultra-capitalist and increasingly sterile public and private sphere by bringing forward a contemporary spiritual approach to the body, a receding of the gender roles and the controversial healing potential of orgasms. (…) Though their work remains illegal, they see it as a necessary step; this community represents the mobilization of women’s joint power and empathy towards a place where sex is not obscene, but empowering, not pornographic, but a place of mutual respect and a deeper understanding of one’s spirit and body. (Melanie Bonajo)