Filmmakers Michelle and Jared Brock created 'Over 18,' a film that aims to expose the prevalence and danger of pornography to youth. Photo courtesy of the B.C. Catholic

Film steers youth away from porn

By  Agnieszka Krawczynski, Canadian Catholic News
  • December 4, 2016

VANCOUVER – Two activists have released a new documentary aiming to expose the prevalence and danger of pornography to youth.

Filmmakers Jared and Michelle Brock say the industry has come a long way from teens stashing magazines under the bed. “I was 10 years old when I first saw pornography,” said Jared during a showing of their latest film, Over 18.

It wasn’t intentional. He’d been watching a basketball game on TV when a film came on and after he watched several minutes, he turned it off and didn’t pursue it again.

“But if I had had porn in my pocket on a cellphone, accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, for free, in HD, from that first moment of exposure, I would not be standing here before you in Vancouver tonight,” he said.

“How would anyone exposed at such a young age not be addicted to pornography?”

Over 18 approaches the topic from all angles. The Brocks interview directors, former pornography actors, parents, recovering addicts and others.

“Kids growing up today have never known a world without instant access to pornography,” he said. “Ninety per cent of boys and 60 per cent of girls see porn before the age of 18.”

The content of pornography has also changed in recent years, becoming more violent and degrading to women, he explained. Of the 300 most-watched pornography films in 2015, “88 per cent had physical aggression towards women.”

At a recent screening, the filmmaking duo encouraged the audience to sign a petition in favour of motion M-47 in Parliament asking for study of the issue. The private member’s motion from Alberta MP Arnold Viersen has won all-party support.

“The last time they studied the effects of pornography was 1985, pre-Internet,” said Jared.

The Burkes are screening Over 18 across Canada throughout December, including stops in Hamilton, London and Richmond Hill (www.over18doc.com/screenings).

Steven Ching, a volunteer with the Overcoming Pornography Initiative in the Vancouver archdiocese, appreciated the film. “They portray, very realistically, what happens for someone who has a dependence on pornography,” he said.

His group supports people “who have been impacted by pornography and are looking for strategies to avoid it, overcome it and heal from it.”

Fr. Richard Soo often hears Catholics admit to pornography addictions in the confessional. “It’s a surprisingly common problem,” he said. He worried the industry is “tied up with greed” while “hurting men and women are exploited on film” and other “hurting people are watching it.”

(B.C. Catholic)

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