Does the name Jonathan Agassi ring a bell? No? Well, Agassi is one of the most eccentric and flamboyant porn male porn stars from the ’80s. He’s known for his edgy dance moves and over-the-top appearance but now thanks to director Tomer Heymann (“Mr. Gaga”, “Who’s Gonna Love Me Now?”), we’ll see another side of the glamourous man.
For Heymann, Agassi was the perfect topic because he’s one of those people that “have a specific energy around them, something that draws you to them and leaves you with this feeling inside that you have to explore”. We couldn’t agree more with Heymann. The Israel born star has indeed a personality that will leave you breathless. Just like the man himself, this documentary is a peculiar, entertaining but also emotional and heartbreaking one.
Agassi has it all (the attention, the fame and the money, etc…) but if there is one thing he doesn’t have, it’s a PG13 life. Something that Heymann experienced during the eight years he worked on this documentary.
At the start of “Jonathan Agassi Saved My Life”, Agassi is at the peak of his success. After winning multiple awards and making a name for himself, he became the most famous and most wanted gay man from the porn industry. Men want to have him and others want to be him.
From the very first minutes, it becomes clear that this documentary will involve nudity, strong language but also emotion and friendship. We see Jonathan and his fellow dancers preparing for a steamy sexual show but at the same time, they’re also talking about some sad family experiences. It’s that duality that we will see throughout the entire documentary.
The raw, uncensored and exuberant porn star on one hand while on the other we see the more vulnerable, broken and lost man who’s caught up in his sexual madness. It’s a miracle that Agassi is still alive but where exactly in his life did that miracle happen? That’s for you to find out.
After reading that “Jonathan Agassi Saved My Life” is a documentary about a porn star, you were probably already starting to make up your mind about what it would look like. Full of nudity, erotic pleasures, sex toys, and some very harsh scenes. You’re not wrong about that at all but this documentary is so much more than that.
What makes it so compelling and so human at the same time is that Heymann really captures the man behind all the extravagance and not just the ‘showman’. The porn world is a big aspect in this documentary but so are emotions, family, the need for love and the fear of ending up alone.
Before watching this documentary, you probably have multiple prejudices about the porn industry and the men working in it. However, thanks to Heymann’s immense respectful observations and Jonathan’s openness and fearlessness, these prejudices are being questioned for sure.
During our interview Heymann mentioned that he finds it so “powerful to see the impact and influence documentary films can have on people’s lives”. We can only agree that this movie will have an impact on you one way or another.
Another reason why this documentary is such a gripping and honest one is that you can feel the trust and respect between the filmmaker and Agassi. During their first talks in Berlin, they spoke for hours about Agassi’s family, his career, his passion for porn. You can tell that the was the beginning of the strong connection between the two. According to Heymann, Agassi was never shy or embarrassed about who he was or what he was doing. No matter how peculiar and highly explicit his world is, Heymann was always with him as the “fly on the wall”.
Heymann mentioned that this documentary has a ‘shock value’ for most audiences and that’s absolutely the case. There’s no censoring going on in this film so there are many explicit, nude and “hard to watch” scenes. Don’t let that stop you from seeing this movie as there’s much more to it than what meets the eye. You will see a strong, self-confident and grandiose gay porn star who has the world on his feet but also a glimpse of an emotionally damaged, insecure and vulnerable man.