A documentary about the adult-film industry has a double-edged appeal. You get a frisson of voyeurism, but also the reassuring notion that you’re watching a serious inquiry in to the erotic underground. In 1995, Annabel Chong, a small, lithe tigress of a woman originally from Singapore, made a best-selling triple-X video in which she had 251 sexual encounters in 10 hours. Sex: The Annabel Chong Story asks, Why would even a porn star drive herself to such a gruesome assembly-line extreme?
Chong, in her disarmingly cool way, describes her attraction to porn and to radical sex, both of which she finds empowering. But there are also references to a repressive upbringing and a gang rape in her past; a portrait emerges of a troubled young woman who revels in, yet scarcely acknowledges, her own masochism. The movie does all it can not to dehumanize Chong, but then, unlike a porn tape, it hardly needs to. She has already done that to herself.