Elevate Difference

Reviews tagged prostitution

What A Wonderful World

In What A Wonderful World, director Faouzi Bensaidi attempts to bring together the incongruities of Moroccan urban life with elegance and intimacy. The film features a set of diverse characters whose lives intersect either by coincidence or choice. Thus, throughout the film one notices several intertwined little stories. However, the film’s main storyline revolves around a mercenary assassin, Kamel (who is played by Bensaidi), who falls in love with Kenza, a traffic officer by day and a prostitute by night.

Beautiful Thing: Inside the Secret World of Bombay's Dance Bars

Beautiful Thing is an eponymous title. It is journalist Sonia Faleiro's first book, about the dancers and not-so-secret prostitutes of the “dance bars” of suburban Bombay (Mumbai). These now-illegal establishments offered the tripartite pleasures of alcohol, enticing women, and Bollywood music. Their dancers were “bootiful” young girls, sometimes in their initial teenage years, and well aware that their “booty”—pun unintended—is what defines them, and keeps them fed and clothed.

The Photograph

The Photograph begins with an old man slowly examining old photographs with his hands. The viewer feels almost intrusive watching the gnarled fingers pass over the pictures he knows so well that he need only touch their frames to bring the images to mind. The slow, tender motions of the old man are a direct contrast to the brash, young protagonist, Sita, who is introduced in the next scene.

A Call Girl (Slovenian Girl)

“Life is just one big disappointment after another,” laments the main character Alexandra in Damjan Kozole’s award-winning film about a Slovenian college student who delves into prostitution. Unfortunately for Alexandra and for viewers, the tone of A Call Girl never ascends much higher that that sentiment. To her small town father, Alexandra seems like a bright, if moody, college student working on her English skills in Slovenia’s capital, Ljubljana.

Surviving the Witch-Hunt: Battle Notes from Portland’s 82nd Avenue, 2007-2010

Surviving the Witch-Hunt is collection of artifacts and commentary from 2007 to the present and catalogues the community forces that emerged after the City of Portland removed its controversial Prostitution Free Zones (PFZ). These zones had allowed the police to issue exclusion orders for those who had been arrested for sex work, even if they had never been charged.

Lost Girls: Sex and Death in Renaissance Florence

Founded in 1554 by a group of charitable women who called themselves the Compagnia della Pietà, the Casa della Pietà, or Compassion House, was built in Florentine to shelter girls who had been orphaned or abandoned by their parents. The goal of the home was to keep children and adolescent girls from turning to (or being forced into) prostitution in the absence of familial support, and to provide them with the possibility of a dowry and marriage. Despite these good intentions, only 202 of the 526 girls and women who resided in the home survived their stay.

Women Without Men

The story of director Shirin Neshat is almost as compelling as her first feature. Born in religiously conservative Qazvin, Iran, Neshat has been using visual art to explore gender relations under Islam for nearly two decades, traveling back and forth between the States and Iran to enrich her perspective. But because her work has been so politically outspoken, Neshat has been exiled from her native country since 1996.


A retread of Anne Fontaine’s 2003 film, Nathalie, I walked out of the theater feeling rather disappointed with Chloe. Julianne Moore plays Catherine Stewart, a successful gynecologist who is married to a college professor named David (Liam Neeson).

The Little Black Book of Grisélidis Réal: Days and Nights of an Anarchist Whore

Writing a review for a book like The Little Black Book of Grisélidis Réal is not a simple task by any means. On the one hand, I want to be as straightforward as possible and simply give my impressions of this one particular piece of writing without going into the issue of prostitution and whether or not it degrades women.

Things Fall Away: Philippine Historical Experience and the Makings of Globalization

Things Fall Away is a scholarly book, not composed for easy reading or comprehension. Tadiar writes as an expert in the areas of political science, anthropology and economics.

Le Papier ne Peut pas Envelopper la Braise (Paper Cannot Wrap Up Embers)

[Paper Cannot Wrap up Embers] provides a numbing portrait of the everyday lives of young Cambodian women who have been forced into prostitution in the aftermath of decades of war and genocide.

Briarpatch Magazine: The Gender & Sexuality Issue (March/April 2009)

At first glance, Canada's Briarpatch Magazine reminded me of American feminist magazine Bitch; the content is similar, the overall message is similar, and, hell, even the font in the logo seems similar. What I love about Bitch is that although it’s an American magazine, it covers issues from all over the world, so I can keep up on feminist issues all over just by checking in one place.

Red Lights: The Lives of Sex Workers in Postsocialist China

On one occasion, gangsters walked into the bar, grabbed me by the arm, and started dragging me up the stairs toward a private room intended for hostesses’ sexual encounters with clients. The women were also sometimes raped there by gangsters. I quickly realized what was going on—that I was in real danger... Whereas safety was a major issue, hygiene was another. Living in a filthy karaoke bar room without bathing facilities, I had lice in my hair and over my whole body.

I-5: A Novel of Crime, Transport, and Sex

Sexual slavery is a serious problem in the world. While the numbers vary between agencies, the most commonly reported statistics are from the U.S. State Department’s 2005 report on trafficked persons, which estimates that 600,000 to 800,000 people are illegally trafficked across international borders, with 14,500 to 17,500 trafficked to the U.S. These numbers include all forms of forced labor, but sexual slavery has the highest percentage, affecting both women and children. Women are lured with the promise of jobs in other countries, but are subjected to sexual servitude.


Tapologo is a full-length documentary shot in Northwest Province, South Africa. Directors Gabriella and Sally Gutierrez Dewar chronicle a handful of the 20,000 displaced African refugees in a squatter camp called Freedom Park. Here we are exposed to life and death in a place where fifty percent of the women are infected with HIV. The film is divided into two parts. Part one opens inside the shack of an emaciated woman receiving care from two local nurses.

Why Just Her

I’ll admit to having mixed emotions about reviewing a book about the notorious DC Madame, Deborah Jeane Palfrey, who committed suicide by hanging herself in early May 2008. I was vaguely familiar with the story, but hadn’t followed it closely as it was unfolding.

Utopia and Epitaph

Utopia and Epitaph aren’t quite what documentaries are supposed to be, but, surprisingly, that’s a very good thing. In most documentaries, there’s narration and context, exposition and editorializing. The filmmaker boxes the viewer in with a comfy explanation of why “this” matters, and guides him or her on the sort of journey of other people’s lives that allows the interested, yet uninvolved, tourist’s view of the world.

Sex Work and the City: The Social Geography of Health and Safety in Tijuana, Mexico

Most studies of prostitution still focus on the supply side: the women and girls, the boys and men, and the transgender and transsexual people who toil sexually to survive, meet temporary needs, and thrive. An increasing number of studies focus on the demand side: the direct consumers and the globalizing forces that bring them together. Carved down from what was probably a fine Ph.D.

The Johns: Sex for Sale and the Men Who Buy It

It’s impossible to study, be in, write about, or fight against _______ (you fill in the blank) sex work, prostitution, and sexual trafficking without getting some or all of it wrong. I’m not the only straight white guy to write about prostituted women, but without always acknowledging my privilege and standpoints reflexively.

Hollow Bodies: Institutional Responses to Sex Trafficking in Armenia, Bosnia and India

In Hollow Bodies, Susan Dewey travels to Armenia, Bosnia, and India to look at the institutional responses to sex trafficking in the three different cultural and governmental contexts. Armenia is plagued by poverty, unemployment and a poor quality of life that encourages migration. Bosnia is recovering from a violent war in which many women were victims of rape and forced into prostitution.

Sex Trafficking: Inside the Business of Modern Slavery

Besides weapons and drugs, sex trafficking is the most profitable type of illegal trafficking in the world.

Prostitution, Polygamy and Power: Salt Lake City, 1847-1918

My first publication, in 1987, resulted from a grad school term paper. Jeffrey Nichols’ highly readable monograph resulted from taking a Western History seminar. Thank Goddess for grad school!

A Woman Alone at Night

A Woman Alone at Night is a story loosely based on St. Mary of Egypt, a prostitute who "reveled in her sexuality before repenting".

Encyclopedia of Prostitution and Sex Work

Five thousand words, much less the 500 allowed here, are insufficient to review critically and appreciate properly a reference work this exciting, valuable, unique and scrupulously edited. Into two sturdy, attractive-looking and easy-to-use volumes, Melissa Hope Ditmore has assembled 341 entries from 179 experts from fields and perspectives as disparate as criminal justice and sex worker activism, pop culture studies and Asian history, musicology and English literature, cinematic studies and international health, and performance art and social services.

Making Sex Work: A Failed Experiment with Legalised Prostitution

Mary Lucille Sullivan attempts to tackle the world's oldest profession, but provides more questions than answers. When the State of Victoria in Australia became one of the first governments in the world to legalize prostitution in 1984, both residents and the rest of the world wondered how this radical law would affect women's role in this underground, but very active workforce. Making Sex Work: A Failed Experiment with Legalised Prostitution investigates whether the ladies of the night in Victoria are expanding or diminishing the sex industry.

The Internet Escort's Handbook Book 1: The Foundation

Admit it, you’ve thought about it. After a long day at a desk job, struggling under a mountain of student loans and credit card debt, becoming an escort doesn’t seem like a bad idea. It is actually far more appealing than being a stripper. You can use your excellent interpersonal skills and table manners. You can make delightful cocktail party conversation. You have what they call “personality.” More importantly, you can avoid the pasties and cheesy music of the strip club. Then you remember that the modus operandi of being an escort is having sex with clients.

Woman of Ill Fame

Nora Simms is a prostitute who comes to San Francisco in 1848, during the Gold Rush. She starts as a "crib girl," working in a row house with several other prostitutes. One of Nora's aims is to work in a parlor house. Parlor houses are more upscale bordellos, frequented by men with more education than the miners Nora serviced. To achieve this goal, Nora begins speaking with a fake French accent. She takes lessons from another crib girl and meets a professor who sweeps her off her feet. Nora also wins the affections of Abe, a gentle, mildly retarded man.