Documentary

SWR • 90 Min.

Director: Chiara Sambuchi

Production: Lavafilm

The Viagra Chronicles

Roberto is a successful gigolo, but his sexual performances are “sometimes quite ridiculous“ because he thinks there is no point in striving for “a sex marathon like a drill hammer”. Ninety per cent of his clients book him for the overall performance, not just sex: this includes the way he looks at them, how he speaks to them, caresses them: for women, according to Roy, the small gestures are what constitute a great male performance.

Sven is 25 and in excellent health, but he suffers from erection problems: stress, the permanent performance pressure in his private and professional life, the fear of not meeting the expectations of his girlfriend and employer have a strong impact on his sexuality: “Men in my age”, he says, “are expected to conform to the ideal image: they must look good, be successful and have money.”

Christopher is a successful head chef. He does not really have potency problems, but even he needs a bit of help again and again in the form of potency remedies. He then reflects in his car late in the evening: “How can I arrive home and think about just sex after working twelve hours? Intimacy should really be sheer enjoyment. But sometimes it mingles with all the accumulated pressure.” He is single and dates women he meets online if it is not serious. He does not tell his date about potency remedies. “She should carry on thinking that I am Mr. Potency.”

Mano and Claudia have been together for over twenty years and they have been mutually struggling against Mano’s potency problems. Mano became impotent after a bladder operation. “Nobody inquiries about potency.” He says, „It is absolutely taboo. “

In an intimate manner, like diary entries, the life of single people and couples who regularly take potency remedies is laid bare. 

What is “strong”? And what is “weak”? How many insecurities, fears and fantasies does the blue pill cover up? Is “performance” all that counts even in the most private sphere? 

“The viagra chronicles” is a story of love and loneliness in western society – viagra is the connection between the four characters and reflects the illusion of a magic elixir that can transform us into “better” men and women, better lovers, more performing human beings: in modern society there’s a viagra for every problem, a fast remedy that can cover our mistakes and fragilities. But those remedies often banalize us, hide who we really are: unique human beings worth to be loved also because of our mistakes and fragilities.