Saturday, February 2, 2013

Whores' Glory

by Drew Martin
The best professor I had when I was working on my Masters in Media Studies at The New School was Richard Lorber, hands down. With a Ph.D. in Art History from Columbia University you would expect an esoteric discourse but for the media management course I took he was always practical and focused on the future of his students.

Lorber is the president and CEO of Kino Lorber, Inc., which is a New York-based theatrical distributor and DVD label "dedicated to the best in recent and classic world cinema and independent documentaries." At the time of the class, Lorber was president of Koch Lorber Films, which distributed foreign classics such as La Dolce Vita.

I mention Lorber because I am just as eager to see a film he places his bet on, as I am by a director I admire, or one that stars an actor I like. I recently watched Whores' Glory on Netflix, which was directed by Michael Glawogger, and distributed by Lorber.

This film is not a survey of world-wide prostitution but it plants the viewer deep in the scene of three very different prostitution hotspots: the highly organized "Fish Tank" in Thailand where the prostitutes pray at small shrines so they will have a lot of clients, the maze-like "City of Joy" in Bangladesh which houses hundreds of women, and the "Zone" in Mexico where one prostitute tells a story of a father who brought his 15-year-old son to her so she could "make him a man."

While the job of these women is the same, the culture of each location and religion, make them worlds apart. Most of the film focuses on the lives of the women but there are also plenty of insights from their clients who rationalize prostitution, speak of their urges and explain why they visit prostitutes when they have girlfriends or wives.

Mother Jones interview with director, Michael Glawogger

Read the New York Times Review

Watch the trailer