Appellate Judge Tom Becker was hoping to pick up some tips on how to spruce up a term paper, but no such luck.
Our reviews of Schoolgirl Report 3: What Parents Find Unthinkable (published March 7th, 2008), Schoolgirl Report 1: What Parents Don't Think Is Possible (published April 12th, 2007), Schoolgirl Report 3: What Parents Find Unthinkable (International Edition) (published August 29th, 2008), and Schoolgirl Report 4: What Drives Parents To Despair (published August 29th, 2008) are also available.
What is the innocence of a child who hides behind innocence?
Schoolgirl Report 2: What Keeps Parents Awake at Night is the first sequel in a series of soft-core German sex films dealing with (what else?) the venereal exploits of Teutonic teens. Like the opening salvo (Schoolgirl Report 1: What Parents Don't Think Is Possible), Schoolgirl Report 2 is set up as a documentary (though it seems more "mock" than "doc"), with actor Friedrich von Thun as a reporter giving us the scoop.
According to "reporter" von Thun, the filmmakers never intended to make a sequel to the first film, but they were inundated with letters—1,665, to be exact—and those letters, they tell us, form the basis of SR2.
The film mixes "dramatic re-enactments," on-the-street interviews with (mainly) young women, input from "viewers of the first film" (including, we are told, parents of some of the subjects of this film), and insights from a "child psychologist."
The gist of all the comments is the same: girls should learn about sex early, sexual discovery shouldn't be discouraged, and teens can be the aggressors in an intergenerational encounter. We then get object lessons.
When someone mentions that "today's" schoolgirls are materialistic, we see the story of said girls posing naked for a photographer to score some cash (which they use to buy hideous '70s wigs). An account of young teens who get caught playing around in a barn underscores the notion that exploration is normal.
Some of these episodes play out the way you'd expect from a teen sexploitation film, others are notably darker.
A tale of a teacher seduced, then blackmailed, by his comely students at first seems to be the ol' drive-in standard, hot girls humping their way to the honor roll. Then it takes a somber turn: The teacher is brought up on charges and, facing prison and disgrace, commits suicide.
Later, another man is seduced by another schoolgirl and finds himself in court, but this guy has a canny attorney who outright asks the girl if she's had sex before. "A terribly awkward situation," she thinks out loud. "What can I do? If I say no, he goes to jail. If I say yes, my parents will think I'm a whore." When it's revealed that this was not her first time at the rodeo (more like her 40th), the lawyer argues that she should not be considered an "innocent" minor under Germany's criminal code. Back at home, her father does, in fact, call her a whore, and the girl tries to hang herself.
This is social-political smut, with each vignette not only telling a story, but emphasizing a point. There is a seemingly earnest plea for people (presumably, the "older generation") to accept the "new morality" and an outright challenge to the government of Germany to rethink its laws concerning consensual sex between teens and adults. That this belief extends to girls younger than 16 might give you pause.
However politically incorrect and hokey, SR2's polemics make it seem equally aligned with Euro-socio-poli-smut docs such as Sexual Freedom in Denmark and Sweden's I Am Curious duo as with American-made exploitation flicks. It's a pretty heavy (not to mention heavy-handed) route just to get to some girls disrobing and simulating copulation.
For a film that asks us to allow and encourage young people (and, by extension, ourselves) to revel in sexuality, SR2 is, for the most part, surprisingly unerotic. The actresses are attractive (and clearly of legal age), but a lot of the sexual shenanigans just aren't very sexy. The mantras of politics and "enlightened" morality flow freely as we watch a variety of episodes that range from amusing to distressing.
There's a comical segment about a teenage boy who can't get his groove on with a more-than-willing girl and a first-person account of a girl who lies about being experienced and is desperately trying to make up for it. But there's also a horrifying bit of business wherein some older guys get a 16-year-old drunk, shoot her up with (we assume) heroin, and take turns raping her, as well as a standard-issue, downbeat chronicle of a pair of runaways telling their story to the police.
Apparently, society's prudish attitudes on carnal propriety for the barely post-pubescent create some alarming speed bumps on the road to exploration. From a strictly prurient standpoint, I wish they'd focused more on the positive effects of a culture of sexual liberation rather the bad things that, they argue, result from legal and moral taboos.
At least SR2 ends on an up note, with a story that "shows that not all parents insist on outdated moral norms." Ironically, this happy scene features no sex or nudity.
The print for SR2 looks like it was jammed into someone's lederhosen and dragged through the streets of Berlin. Nicks and scratches are as plentiful as schnitzel at Oktoberfest, and the audio has a thin, tinny sound to it. The chapter selections consist of screen shots without descriptions or titles. There are no extras, and the only set-up option allows you to view the proceedings without subtitles.
Were Schoolgirl Report 2 done as a straight and goofy sex film, it would be less interesting but easier to recommend. Unfortunately, its pretensions of making a serious and controversial statement, as well as its flip-flopping between the titillating and the disturbing, drain a lot of the fun out of it.
Guilty, but not for lack of trying.
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