Director: Juliet Bashore Run Time: 87 min. Release Year: 1986
Starring: Debbie Shine, Sharon Mitchell, Tigr
Alternately distressing, instructive, contestable, and fascinating, Juliet Bashore’s quasi-documentary plunge into the 1980s porn industry takes an unsparing look at issues of misogyny, drug abuse, and exploitation via the story of two women—the naive newcomer Tigr and her partner, the magnetic, imperious porn veteran Sharon Mitchell — caught in a toxic romance.
By turns mesmerizing and unsettling, Kamikaze Hearts is both a fascinating record of pre-gentrification San Francisco’s X-rated underground and an intense, searing love story. The film offers a disturbing glimpse of the modification of bodies, feelings, and lives.
“Swift, complex and altogether challenging. A tempestuous, non-fiction love story. Bashore (is) a punchy, non-nonsense director with a wry sense of humor and compassion.” — Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times
“Alternately distressing, instructive, contestable, and fascinating. Offers a disturbing glimpse of the modification of bodies, feelings, and lives. Rarely has the alienation implicit in the porn business been so tellingly exposed.” — Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
“Vibrant, gritty, enthralling. — Lindi King, San Francisco Chronicle
“In Juliet Bashore’s Kamikaze Hearts…there are no taboos left to break. Only the camera, with verité charm, trembles during kisses here.” — Alisa Solomon, The Village Voice