DMovies - Your platform for thought-provoking cinema

Water Makes Us Wet

Explore the romantic and sexual pleasures of water, in this documentary about "ecosexuality" (literally, making love to the Earth) - from BFI Flare

The mega-filthy and ultra-subversive Anne Sprinkle is back. The American sexologist, feminist, porn actress and former sex worker is best remembered for her extreme sex performances in the 1980s and 1990s (such as Public Cervix Announcement, when she invited audiences to “celebrate the female body” by viewing inside her vagina with a magnifying glass and flashlight). In Water Makes Us Wet, she gets behind the camera for the first time. The film investigates the connection between water, the Earth and our sexuality.

The outcome is far less hardcore than Sprinkle’s early performances. Alongside her wife and co-director Beth Stephens, the 65-year-old artist travels around her native California talking to various people, always questioning the significance of H2O in our lives. Their vehicle is aptly named the E.A.R.T.H. mobile unit, and they are accompanied by their dog Butch (who encounters a tragic fate towards the end of the film). This is a very lighthearted, lyrical and personal approach to documentary-making.

Annie and Beth interact with artists, intellectual, scientists, water treatment experts and others. They deep-dive into their subject, quite literally. The two women visit Annie’s family house swimming pool, where she gave the very first blow job ever. Annie claims that she is an “aquaphilic” (even her surname “Sprinkle” is a reference to water). There are 250,000 pools in Los Angeles alone, we are told. They also visit a seal colony, where Annie communicates with the animals: “Do the plastic bottles on the water bother you?”, she asks the attentive mammals.

The topic of ecosexuality is the central pillar of the film. We learn that “ecosexuals” are those who feel a romantic or a sexual connection to Mother Earth. But don’t expect penetrative and hardcore sex. Water Makes Us Wet is nothing like Marina Abramovic’s Balkan Erotic Epic (2006), when a several men literally have coitus with our planet and various objects. The sexual connection could be in your mind, we are told.

The idea that “water is erotic” and our planet has an enormous amount of sexual energy is indeed fascinating. However, Annie and Beth’s approach to filmmaking is too informal and incoherent. The topics are too varied and they don’t really gel together. The two women travel from water treatment plants to a seal colony, then go on to talk about Nestle’s water brands, discuss sensory arousal through nature and question global warming. I have no idea how all of these themes fit together. Maybe I’m just not fluid enough for Annie’s world.

All in all, Water Makes Us Wet is still refreshing enough to watch. Just don’t expect too much depth. Annie Sprinkle is very effective is a subversive performance artist, but she isn’t as skilled as a road movie documentarist (Annie is no Agnes Varda).

Water Makes Us Wet shows as part of BFI Flare, taking place in London between March 21st and 31st.

By Victor Fraga - 24-03-2019

Victor Fraga is a Brazilian born and London-based journalist and filmmaker with more than 20 years of involvement in the cinema industry and beyond. He is an LGBT writer, and describes himself as a di...

DMovies Poll

Are the Oscars dirty enough for DMovies?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Most Read

Forget Friday the 13th, Paranormal Activity and the [Read More...]
Just a few years back, finding a film [Read More...]
A lot of British people would rather forget [Read More...]
Pigs might fly. And so Brexit might happen. [Read More...]
Sexual diversity is at the very heart of [Read More...]
Films quotes are very powerful not just because [Read More...]

Read More


Gaspar Noé

Jeremy Clarke - 17-09-2018

Uppers and downers – either way blood flows. Arthouse enfant terrible Noé combines technical skill and singular focus with some of the most spectacular dancing ever put on film to produce a dark and challenging vision of hell on earth - now available on VoD [Read More...]

Hard Paint (Tinta Bruta)

Marcio Reolon and Filipe Matzembacher

Victor Fraga - 19-02-2018

All the colours of the rainbow! Brazilian queer film about young man earning a living as a sexy glow paint performer in chat rooms avoids cliches, is psychologically multilayered and surprisingly moving - in cinemas Friday, August 2nd [Read More...]

Like Cattle towards Glow

Zac Farley

Victor Fraga - 29-02-2016

Achieving gratification through anhedonia and suffering: the strange politics of 'little death' and mortality [Read More...]

Facebook Comment

Website Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *