Looking to escape his mundane factory job in the mountain town of Oaxaca and make some easy money, Lalo (played by real-life “sex influencer” Lalo Santos) decides to respond to a casting ad for an adult film. With his striking face and dark mustache, he quickly finds himself cast as radical labor-rights leader Emiliano Zapata in an overheated porno retelling of the Mexican Revolution. Though Lalo’s online celebrity begins to skyrocket as he posts videos to Twitter, he finds the demands of the shoot beginning to wear him down, especially at the hands of a pretentious director who takes his cues from Luis Buñuel films. As Lalo navigates his new life as a sex worker, he finds that his rising star does not tame his loneliness.
Director Manuel Abramovich devised this artful, alluring mixture of fiction and documentary from Lalo Santos’ own personal experiences working in the porn industry. The result is an intimate portrait not only of Lalo but also of the reality of sex work in the age of OnlyFans. Santos’ performance anchors the film with a unique and raw vulnerability that is palpable throughout, making PORNOMELANCOLIA a deeply moving experience.
— Elliott Breeden
This film contains sexually explicit content.