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France Uses Porn To Promote Condoms

March 19, 1998 GMT

PARIS (AP) _ The French government is getting into the sex film business.

It has commissioned five short erotic films to encourage the use of condoms among X-rated movies fans and prevent the spread of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

The films, directed by such up-and-coming French directors as Cedric Klapisch (``When the Cat’s Away″) and Marc Caro (``Delicatessen″), will be broadcast between late-night hard-core films on the Canal Plus pay-cable station starting April 4.

Each five-to-eight-minute film deals with a different scenario: sex between a man and one woman, a man and two successive women, and even mild sado-masochism.

``Condoms are often perceived as an obstacle to eroticism,″ the station said in a statement.

Canal Plus is picking up most of the production costs, which could top $210,000, although the government is paying about one-third, or $65,000.

Not everyone is enamored. The Liberation newspaper on Thursday quoted France’s former health minister, Herve Gaymard, as saying, AIDS prevention ``should not promote pornography. It’s scandalous for taxpayers to support this kind of thing.″

A spokesman for the current health minister, Bernard Kouchner, said the decision to make the films was made in May 1996, when Gaymard was minister.

None of the young directors involved had ever made a pornographic movie before.

Klapisch said he wanted to participate because the only way to get people to wear a condom is to show them, graphically, how it’s done.

``The only possible way to look at, to get people to protect themselves, is to show, show everything, show simply and without creating an obsession of the sexual act and the act of wearing a condom,″ Klapisch said in a statement.