Film Festival: <i>A Complete History of My Sexual Failures</i>

01:43, Jan 31 2009

Independent filmmaker Chris Waitt is a complete loser when it comes to women. He decides to make a documentary to find out why, by asking the people who know best: his ex-girlfriends.

Waitt's journey of self-enlightenment doesn't get off to a good start, with most of his former flames shooting him down and refusing to appear on camera.

With the aid of a little motherly intervention and the discovery of a stash of old love letters, he's on his way.

En route he discovers that he's a slob, self-absorbed, tardy and to top it all off, has developed 'performance anxiety'.

In an attempt to rediscover his libido - he takes the audience on a cringe-inducing visit to a dominatrix in a dungeon and carries out a dangerous experiment with Viagra, alcohol and 300 strangers.

I did wonder how much of the documentary was real and how much was scripted, but Waitt subjects himself to such abject humiliation in the name of his art that I stopped caring if the scenarios were set up or not.

This film had the audience in stitches - and in certain scenes had them looking away from the screen in embarrassment.

A Complete History of My Sexual Failures is a gritty, unnerving and brutally honest comedic documentary.

*The Auckland International Film Festival is on now. Visit www.nzff.co.nz.

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