Nullo, a short film by Jan Soldat, is difficult to watch, especially if you have a penis. In fact, I had to watch much of the movie with my legs crossed. If you are aware of Freud’s theory of castration anxiety, you will know what I’m talking about. The subject of the documentary, an affable gay Austrian fellow named Norbert, sits or stands naked in various poses in his small apartment speaking presumably to the documentarian seated behind the camera. It is clear that Norbert has no penis, and in its stead has had a winged penis tattooed above the space where it used to be. In the longest shot of the film (there are only about a dozen or so), Norbert lies on the bed with his legs open to the camera as he recounts how he cut off his own genitalia – first, most of the penis, then a few years later, the scrotum. After an infection, he had to go to the hospital where he had the rest of the penis that is hidden inside the body removed. He recounts his story matter-of-factly, relating how he was alienated from his penis from a young age, and what his ex-boyfriend, family and friends think of his decision to take matters into his own hands and remove it. The film is wonderfully frank, to the point where Norbert lies on his bed and masturbates himself to orgasm. It’s a fascinating portrait of an individual with penis dysmorphia who appears to be much happier and content without the very appendage that provides many men – especially gay men – with their entire raison d'être. (Bruce LaBruce)
Best Documentary Award @ Rome Hacker Porn Film Festival 2021 (Award)
BEST DOCUMENTARY – NULLO by Jan Soldat / Rome Hacker Porn Film Festival 2021
Jury Statement: Brave, explosive and disruptive in deconstructing a whole medical and social system that keeps forcing the body and its parts into rigid categories and dichotomies. A harsh and direct criticism of the medicalization and normalization processes of all those subjects who, on the other hand, want to rewrite the body geography and their own subjectivity outside of pre-established and rigid paths.
15 min 30 sec