This year’s Sundance Film Festival has officially started, and of the many highly anticipated films is Lovelace, the true story of Linda Boreman, otherwise known as porn actress, Linda Lovelace. Famous for her role in the legendary film Deep Throat, Boreman later became equally famous for her role as an anti-pornography advocate, speaking out against the objectification of women. Featuring Amanda Seyfried and Golden Globe nominee Peter Sarsgaard, along with an all-star cast, Lovelace tells a complicated story of fame, abuse and betrayal set against the sexual revolution of the 1970s.
Escaping from a strict religious family, Linda discovered a new sense of freedom when she fell for and married her husband, Chuck Traynor, a hustler and pornographer. According to Linda, Traynor was violent and abusive and forced her into pornography. In 1972, she starred in Deep Throat, which was the first ever, scripted pornographic theatrical feature film. It immediately became a phenomenon, and Linda Lovelace became an international sensation. Fully immersing herself in her new identity, Linda became a spokesperson for the sexual freedom we associate with that era.
When Linda eventually broke free from her controlling husband, she denounced the film, saying that it was a “depiction of rape” and not consensual, adding that she was never paid for the film, which reportedly grossed $600 million. It wasn’t long before Linda changed her name back to Boreman from Lovelace, and became a leading crusader against the pornography industry.
Standing alongside feminists of the day, like Gloria Steinem, Linda took to the lecture circuit, speaking at colleges about the pornography industry and the objectification of women. She testified about the dangers of pornography before Congress, courts and city councils in the 1980s, and wrote several tell-all books including Ordeal and Out of Bondage (introduction written by Gloria Steinem), both depicting the callous and exploitative practices of the pornography industry.
Forever haunted by her career in pornography, Linda never reached the success she strived to achieve in any part of her life. Linda Boreman died in 2002, at the age of 53, from injuries she suffered in a car crash. Her notorious life is a sad story that reeks of a desperate desire to be loved and accepted.
“Linda had an amazing life, and she was a pivotal cultural figure at a time when society’s sexual awareness was really blossoming,” says director Rob Epstein. “There’s the period we think of as the sexual revolution, which segues into the rise of feminism, and Linda was an important character in both those instances.”