Set in the world of the Japanese Adult Video (AV) industry, Bastoni -- The Stick Handlers has the distinction of being one of the only films to address the inhabitants of the porn industry with dignity and humanity. The film tells the story of Yamaguchi (Shunsuke Matsuoka), a celebrated AV actor who is married to Natsuki (Yuka Kojima), another AV actor who is taking early retirement from the business to give birth to the couple's first child. Their contentment is compromised by the appearance of Miyuki (Amiko Kanetani), Yamaguchi's ex-girlfriend. Miyuki ended their relationship after learning of Yamaguchi's career in the AV industry, but she subsequently became determined to make her ex-boyfriend understand the pitfalls of his workplace. Deciding the best way to do this is to enter the AV industry herself, Miyuki befriends Natsuki, and regrets and recriminations ensue. The insight shown in Bastoni -- The Stick Handlers was undoubtedly the result of director Kazuhiko Nakamura's own earlier career as an assistant director in Japan's porn industry. The film had its world premiere at the 2002 Philadelphia Festival of World Cinema.