14 June 2010


Kinsey is a very touching film that details a man's fight against cultural prejudices. Alfred Kinsey was a renowned scientist working at Indiana University and, despite his religious background, he set out to find truths about life and the world. The film does show how Kinsey, during the early decades of the twentieth century, tries so hard to study sexual behaviour of American people. Of course, given the age and time, what Kinsey does is pioneering and daring, as the oppressive nature of society at the time rarely permits such a study to be conducted without prejudgement. With the Protestant belief riding high, Kinsey manages to secure a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation, though it was later put to a stop due to the public panic over such a sensitive issue.

The figure of Kinsey, however, triumphs over all this, as we see the man braving his way through the society full of moral hypocrisy and double standard. His unrelenting fight is comparable to that of Prometheus, who risks his life to give fire to mankind. Kinsey himself is an experimenter, as we see he tries and tests different forms of sex, at times injuring himself in the process and pushing his moral boundaries to the limits. Nevertheless, somehow we see him as a courageous fighter for his own belief -- that everything can be measured and analysed -- and that his belief is itself very cautiously formulated.

He clearly distinguishes love from sex and strictly analyses the latter, accepting the fact that the former is somewhat much more complicated and cannot be measured. However, I can't help wondering that at times Kinsey is ill-at-ease distinguishing between sex and love. When his wife wants to 'sexually experiment' with one of his assistants, we clearly see that Kinsey is apparently worried. This perhaps raises a pertinent question that somehow sex can't just be measured either, simply for the fact that sex and love can't be separated. Somehow we try to use reason to analyse sex, but little do we realize that we can't simply be a detached observer of such a delicate issue.

But of course this doesn't mean that the world should ignore Kinsey or that his study should be treated with less respect. Totally the opposite, I reckon.