Thursday, May 3, 2012

Whores' Glory

Fantasy and idealization provide the lubrication which makes sexuality possible for humans amidst the Scylla and Charybdis of an overdeveloped cerebral cortex—that produces the quality we know as consciousness. At one point in Michael Glawogger’s documentary Whores' Glory, currently playing at the Lincoln Plaza, dogs stationed in front of a Bangkok brothel mount each other with an abandon that is absent in either the clients or sex workers who engage in interactions within. Whores' Glory is unique for a film about prostitution in that it totally lacks any vestige of eroticism or on the other hand indignant  commentary. While less lurid than say Nicholas D. Kristof’s horrifying accounts of sexual slavery in the Times, Whores' Glory presents its own form of mordancy in the joylessness of the encounters. Besides the Bangkok venue, the Fish Tank, Glowagger journeys to the City of Joy in the Faridpur district of Bangladesh and finally to the red-light district of Reynosa, a city across the border from McAllen, Texas. In one encounter a prostitute charges two hundred pesos for twenty minutes of sex with her customer. Those who get annoyed with their therapists for ending sessions at the moment of  climax will identify with the feckless fellow who is sent on his way punctually, with little sympathy for the interruptus part of his coitus. The scene, denuded as it is of any iota of sexuality, conveys a unique brutality and hopelessness. The johns in Whores' Glory are always bargaining for discounts with whores who have no hearts of gold.

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