Filed Under: Interview
|Courtesy of Lucas Entertainment
Allow me to tell you about Michael Lucas
, film maker and founder of Lucas Entertainment, who will talk about his life in porn during tonight's Lip Service
lecture at QFest
. After growing up Jewish in bigoted Soviet Russia, Lucas immigrated to America and opened his vid-making and distributing venture. The adult film star who has previously voiced controversial views on Islam, including referring to the Qu'ran as "today's Mein Kampf"
has lectured at universities and film forums regarding rampantly destructive drug use and unprotected sex in the gay community, Israel and anti-Semitism and child pornography. We got him to open up about a few of these topics before heading to Philly.
Before your time in the limelight, did you feel more persecuted for being gay, an atheist or a citizen of Israel?
I was born in Russia, and I lived in Russia until 1995. I went to Europe after and lived there from 1995 to '97. Then I came to New York and started my company in 1998. I became an American citizen in 2004. I became an Israeli citizen in 2009. I am a citizen of three countries: Russia, America and Israel. I am also a resident of Germany because I lived there before coming to the United States. I'm giving you this quick outline in order to be able to answer your questions. So, about being atheist. I couldn't possible have a problem with being an atheist because in the Soviet Union, where I grew up, you had no other alternative
. After the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia became as religious as the United States is today. I'm still an atheist because I don't believe in the supernatural and I don't believe in God
. I don't believe that God created us. I believe that people created God out of their weakness, being afraid to live, and most importantly, being afraid of dying. As for discrimination, I was discriminated in the Soviet Union for being a Jew. In Russia, "Jewish" was not a religion. It was considered a nationality. In my passport under the space for nationality, it was entered "Jewish," not "Russian." It's ridiculous, but that's how anti-Semitic Russia was. As for being gay, it was difficult being gay because Russia is a very homophobic country. Those are two of the reasons I left: Russia is very homophobic and anti-Semitic. It's a dark and cruel country
. I would like to clarify for you that I consider myself to be a Jewish-atheist. If it sounds complicated, I'd be happy to elaborate.
Let the layman in on the mechanics of it all?
Jews you see are not just people that follow Judaism. There are many secular Jews. I don't believe in a Jewish god. I believe in my people, I believe in Israel
. I am proud that for thousands years of persecutions, discriminations, pogroms and massacres that culminated in Holocaust. We survived and contributed to the world in every field. I believe in Israel, in our right to defend ourselves to make sure not to be exterminated again. Israel is a back-up for every Jew no matter where he lives.
Do you think of yourself as a filmmaker who happens to work in gay pornography or decidedly a gay pornographer. I mean, I'm not gay and find your more narrative moments interesting.
Thank you very much for that compliment. I do believe that I'm a pornographer
. But in order to stay in business for over 15 years, one has to be creative. So I think I'm creative.
Thinking about your ideas regarding Islam and knowing you're a proud New Yorker, how do you feel about the building of a mosque near Ground Zero?
I think it's a slap in the face of all Americans and, in particular, New Yorkers and the families of those who died in the terrorist attacks of 9/11. Because you see, people are not stupid. No one is buying the bullshit that Muslims are trying to rub in our faces when they call a 13 floor Islamic center a gesture of peace. This project is sponsored by Saudi Arabia, the country that provided 15 hijackers for the attacks. Muslims are incredibly stupid for being so arrogant and disrespectful. They're turning public opinion even more against themselves. As for politicians in Manhattan, they are nothing more than a bunch of liberal morons for approving this disgusting monument to terrorism.
You seem to have lectured around the country on a number of topics. You obtained a law degree from Russia, is that the lawyer in you?
No. This is independent thinking,
one which is not intimidated by anyone.
You have a pretty great relationship with the TLA people and its QFest. How did all that start and where is it going as so much film is downloadable.
TLA was always great to me. They distribute lots of my films, and we have a fantastic relationship. As downloading, it's a big problem for studios that produce movies and for distributors like TLA. We're all hoping that some serious measures will be taken to prevent illegal downloading, because it hurts not only the porn business, but the music business, the show business and lots of other industries overall. People are becoming thieves without even understanding it
, and I think governments of the world should interfere.
Lip Service, Sat., July 17, 9:45 p.m., Ritz East Theater, 125 S. Second St., qfest.com; Michael Lucas: Ultraporn After-Party, 10 p.m., Voyeur, 1221 St. James Pl.