Bob Flanagan was a sick man. Born with cystic fibrosis in 1952, the doctors gave him a life expectancy of six or seven years - but rather than conform, he survived to 1995, hammering nails into his penis, and the like, and turning the results into art. This documentary, shocking and enlightening, succeeds in contextualising, and thus humanising, misunderstood sexual 'deviancy'. You get some insight into Bob's troubled relationship with his body, watching him create a clear plastic, self-modelled 'Invisible Man' that produces a flow of brown, white and green goo from three orifices. He met his perfect dominatrix partner in Sheree Rose, and married her in 1982, while she hung him upside down from the celing. Documenting Bob's domestic life, masochism, art, illness and more masochism for good measure, it's a tough watch - certain scenes especially - but warm and witty, too. And the moral? 'You always hurt the one you love.'
Cast and crew
Bob Flanagan Sr