Bella Cherry is ready. She is a young and ambitious professional from Sweden who wants to become an A-list porn actress. As she slowly settles into Los Angeles and a new culture, she is confronted with industry rules, personal fears, the limits of friendship, and the male dominance of the industry. Bella Cherry is a beginner: she is ready for sadomasochism, profiles in the various genres of porn, and an upward climbing career.
An Official Selection at last year’s Cannes Film Festival and having debuted at Sundance, this coming-of-age drama offers something very rare indeed: a very optimistic view of the sex and fetish entertainment industry that is not exploitative – e.g. after a brutal “deep throat” scene, colleagues ask if you’re OK. Played by newcomer Sofia Kappel, Bella Cherry is a people-pleaser. Thyberg’s feature debut lies somewhere between Verhoeven’s “Showgirls” (1995) and the many versions of “Faust” – a graphically frank, intimate, and self-ironic female perspective on the industry of the male gaze.