The Swedish-born film-maker and writer Erika Lust has successfully carved a career for herself as one of the foremost proponents of what she is comfortable calling ‘feminist pornography’, erotic films which counter chauvinistic and tacky mainstream porn with films exploring sexuality in a broader context of shared desire, pleasure and reward. Based in Barcelona, her successes include The Good Girl, a humorous statement of erotic principles, Five Hot Stories for Her, Life Love Lust, and Cabaret Desire.

Like so many others, Erika was impressed by Apollonia Saintclair’s work, and in 2017 contacted her to see if she would be interested in a collaboration to include the idea of ‘ink’, both as black and white graphic images and as body tattoos, in a new film in her XConfessions series. Here is Erika’s description of how the partnership evolved:

‘We started working with Apollonia for our XConfessions website, and from the very beginning I was fascinated by her perspectives, the way she combines erotica with emotions, comedy with pain. Apollonia is a very private artist who doesn’t seek the spotlight, and I am not going to lie that it was kind of hard to get to her about collaborating on a movie! But when she finally replied to all my (probably very annoying) messages we knew pretty much straight away that we could come up with something very special together. The movie might seem very abstract at first, but when you look a little closer it’s pretty simple: it’s about real, unapologetic love, love that feels eternal, like ink on a page in a book, passion that never ceases to amaze and pleasure that goes beyond the physical sphere. Not an easy task to bring across on camera! I love the animation part in it. It was my first time incorporating animation and I think I’ll do it again!’

As for Erika, the partnership was also rewarding for Apollonia: ‘The collaboration with Erika Lust resulted in images that I really like. It was sort a ping-pong game between me and her: she made a movie inspired by the drawings from Ink is My Blood Volume 1; I took then ten frames from the movie and created variations out of them which were integrated into the movie through a process of animation.’

The movie Ink (Ink is My Blood) can be found on the Erika Lust website here