Monday, 9 September 2013

Rape For Profit (2012)

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Rape For Profit: Women and children are helpless victims and it's all men's fault.

At a glance:
Narrow and naive, to say the least.
Backed by executive producer Jada Pinkett Smith and her NGO Don't Sell Bodies, Eric Esau and Jason Pamer's Rape For Profit (2012) is a Mew Films documentary the Huffington Post apparently calls "disturbing and provocative", though of course the writer behind this randy movie review blog will dismiss as little more than a narrow and naive worldview of the world's oldest profession, based on a few prostitutes in downtown Seattle, or to use a more sympathetic term as advocated by the film's extremely one-sided take on the trade, "prostituted women". Culled from hundreds of hours of ridealong footage with Sea-Tac street crimes unit and the Seattle high-risk victims unit, this 86-minute film purports to take the audience undercover for an up-close look at the true nature of the sex trade. Hmm... surely a movie review on a documentary that is against the objectification of women does not belong on a blog that verily celebrates it such as mine?
Bad news on the doorstep:
Hmm... I wish I had a therapist who looks like this.

The only thing powerful about this documentary is how the supercharged cops shame and shout at pimps, not to mention how the filmmakers see fit to drive around ambushin customers in some sort of vigilante effort to administer guilt, to the extent of causin an accident. You see the pigs in made-for-camera Batman-type roles, brandishin their brand of law with healthy doses of morality lectures. Even more gung-ho are the filmmakers, who directly confront the johns and ask them how they could do it to their wives, why porn ain't enough and why they had to come out and act on it, with no intention of procurin a meaningful answer. Far from bein an insightful tell-all exposé, this is the moral catharsis of several well-intentioned individuals and their respective organisations whose hearts are no doubt in the right places, however the total demonisation of the johns and the total vindication of the girls reflect a painfully mainstream point of view. Footage of interviews with mayors, councillors, district attorneys and even industry experts who all endorse the same position seal this for me as a missed opportunity. If you truly believe people who say "very few women end up around the world in what we call prostitution without a history of prior sexual harm" and that porn is a dress rehearsal for men who look for hookers, then go ahead and watch it.
Kiddie porn?
Perennial wonderment:
Did you know that whores ask would-be customers to whip their dicks out so that they can filter out cops? Just about the only genuinely interestin thing I learned from this movie. Oh wait, I also learned that cops surf and escort sites lookin for a lack of hip and waist development in under-aged girls that are advertised as barely legal. Haha!
Reminds me of:
All those we've lost along the way.
I can't remember if I cried:
Rape victim with a pretty sad general history of abuse.
Some of the horror stories shared by the victims are truly heartbreakin but the filmmakers' forceful handlin of the pimps and also the whores are so laughably didactic and deluded that I find the effort almost difficult to believe as an unstaged documentary. Among the include "Don't say sorry to me, say sorry to her", "Do you think she wanted to grow up to be in some alley to suck dick?" "You are happier here now! This is much better for you!" and "You're precious, you're a princess and you have value and worth and I'm sorry you didn't grow up hearing that." Bah.
Johns can't seem to spell right, can they?
Amacam joker, berapa bintang lu mau kasi?
The mention of Green River killer Gary Ridgway (a necrophiliac with a penchant for whores) and various other unhelpful content serve only to cloud the issue further, though I'm glad that cop did manage to get the 24-hour drop-in help centre open after so many years of tryin. Check out the official website and Facebook fan page for more info. However, if I were you, check out American Courtesans (2013), Whores' Glory (2011) or even I Am A Sex Addict (2005) for a less naive viewpoint, if not a more entertainin and fascinatin one.★★
Bonus material:

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"It has been said that prostitution and rape are two sides of the same coin."

I saw this witty review on IMDb written by an American user called timlin-4. My sentiments on this film seem closest to this fella, so I'll publish it below verbatim, since I cannot better it.

There are more entertaining sexploitation documentaries about prostitution, sex slavery, and sex with children out there, but few that can be shown at stag parties for churchgoers. This movie fills a much-needed void. The hero of the film is Jason Pamer, a truly righteous man, who ambushes gluttonous prostituted women, and browbeats their cuffed abusers, most of whom are revealed to be violating their holy vow of matrimonial celibacy, until he comes upon a pure young girl to rescue, and is finally rewarded for his sacrifices.

This is a timeless story, but Pamer also includes a stirring soundtrack, and assembles an inspiring supporting cast of people who make remarkable salaries from the field of abused children. There is Dan Allender, professor of divinity, who teaches us how bad the sexualization of the world has become. There is Debra Boyer, professor of women's studies, who teaches us how sinful men's lust is. There is Victor Malarek, tabloid reporter, who teaches us not to do anything to a woman that we wouldn't do to our sisters. This is kind of confusing, I admit, but the dashing Noel Bouché, a high-paid missionary, confidently confirms it. Craig Gross, who once got men to pay for pornography, and now gets them to pay not to watch pornography, pops in briefly to offer help. And of course there are a few politicians and police officers, whose authority is unquestionable. The audience can be confident that these experts will guide them safely through temptation. There are also some titillating testimonials from a girl was sold for a gang rape on her 9th birthday, and from a maudlin woman who was pimped for sex with a lawyer, a policeman, a judge, and pastor before she was 15. A serial killer makes a chilling appearance. All in all this movie is exciting, but not too exciting, if you know what I mean. It's just enough to inspire us to do something and get out there to help the young girls selling sex. [1 star in honor of the one awful God]