#HOTDOCS: “BLOOM UP – A SWINGER COUPLE STORY”
By George Kozera
By day, Hermes and Betta (a lovely middle-aged Italian couple) run a pet supply store, interacting with clients on a very professional and personal level. It’s at night when they let their freak flag fly: Hermes and Betta are swingers where their interactions take a wildly different turn.
BLOOM UP takes us deep inside the world of swinging where like-minded people explore carnal pursuits without shame, fear or judgment. It is a fascinating topic to pursue as it is virtually impossible not to explore the subject matter with preconceived notions. This couple, alongside the many others who participate in these trysts in the movie, appear to be…for lack of a better word…normal. Prior to attending the events, Hermes and Betta make sure they dress to maximize their sexiness and appeal and who of us doesn’t want to look our best before going out on a date.
Writer, Cinematographer and Director Mauro Russo Rouge must be commended for taking a lifestyle choice that may be foreign to many and humanizing it, without prejudice. Yes, it is rather explicit and perhaps a tad misogynistic, but it also explores a topic that always confused me: how does one deal with a swinging lifestyle and not be emotionally-distanced? How can watching someone you love be intimate with someone else? This question is addressed in this Documentary. BLOOM UP is niche filmmaking. It is definitely not everybody’s cup of tea, but it tackles an adult subject matter with precision and insight.