Films on Prostitution

Abduction of Eden

Docudrama 2012 R 1hr 38m. “Hyun Jae” is still a teenager when she’s kidnapped and taken to Las Vegas, where she’s forced to work as a prostitute for two years. (It is based on a true story of Korean-American Chong Kim’s abduction and enslavement.)  See Full Review

Student Services
(Mes Chères Études)

Docudrama 2010 NR 1hr 47m. Desperate for cash, a college coed answers an online advertisement for intimate companionship that leads her down a dangerous path.

The Girlfriend Experience

Drama 2009 R 77 minutes. Filmed in about two weeks on a budget of less than $2 million, director Steven Soderbergh’s experimental feature focuses on the life of a high-priced New York City call girl, played by bona fide porn star Sasha Grey.

A Call Girl
(Slovenka; Slovenian Girl)

Drama 2009 NR 90 minutes. This insightful, allegorical drama follows Aleksandra (Nina Ivanisin), a student, as she travels from a small town to the big city. A cynical and callous young woman, Aleksandra uses the move to transform herself into a well-paid call girl. Her self-imposed isolation and guilt-free life end, however, when a politician client dies. As the police pursue her, Aleksandra must figure out how to finish growing up without losing her soul.

Dirty Money  (2008)
The Business of High-End Prostitution

Documentary CNBC Originals 2008 NR 43 minutes. In every city in America, sex is for sale, and much of it operates in plain view. But there’s one corner of the trade protected like no other: the business of high-end prostitution, where clients can spend hundreds of thousands of dollars each year.

Trade

Docudrama 2007 R 120 minutes. Based on a New York Times Magazine story, this crime drama starring Kevin Kline delves into a sordid world of international sex trafficking that leads from Mexico City to a New Jersey stash house. In a bid to save kidnapped 13-year-old Adriana (Paulina Gaitan) before she’s sold into sexual slavery, her desperate brother (Cesar Ramos) teams with a Texas cop (Kline). Can they find her before she vanishes into a hellish underworld?

Sex Slaves (2007)

Documentary MSNBC Undercover 2007 NR 4 episodes. Human rights advocates estimate that every year, nearly a million women worldwide are illegally bought and sold as sex slaves, many of whom end up in the United States. MSNBC goes inside the human trafficking and underground prostitution scene.

Sex Slaves (2006)

Documentary Frontline 2006. An estimated half-million women are trafficked annually for the purpose of sexual slavery. The women are kidnapped — or lured by traffickers who prey on their dreams of employment abroad — then they are “exported” to Europe, the Middle East, the United States, and elsewhere, where they are sold to pimps, drugged, terrorized, locked in brothels, and raped repeatedly. In Eastern Europe, since the fall of communism, sex trafficking has become the fastest growing form of organized crime, with Moldova and Ukraine widely seen as the centers of the global trade in women and girls. Frontline presents a unique hidden camera look at this world of sexual slavery, talking with traffickers and their victims, and exposing the government indifference that allows the abuses to continue virtually unchecked. Sex Slaves also follows the remarkable journey of one man determined to find his trafficked wife by posing as a trafficker himself to buy back her freedom.

Moldova: The Price of Sex
Women Caught in the Sex Trade

Documentary Frontline / World 2007. “Flash Point” is a series of online slideshows that present the work of up-and-coming as well as established photojournalists. In the series debut, “The Price of Sex,” documentary photographer Mimi Chakarova looks into the lives of young East European women trafficked into the sex trade.

Dubai: Night Secrets
The Oldest Profession in the Newest Playground

Documentary Frontline / World 2007. Known as the Las Vegas of the Persian Gulf, Dubai is a boomtown where men outnumber women three to one. Prostitution is illegal but rampant.

Lilya 4-Ever

Drama 2003 R 109 minutes. In director Lukas Moodysson’s gut-wrenching drama, Oksana Akinshina stars as the 16-year-old title character who’s left to fend for herself in a blighted Estonian suburb when her mother (Lyubov Agapova) abandons her to move to America. Eager to escape her grim surroundings and seek a bright future, she falls victim to the promises of the charming Andrei (Pavel Ponomaryov), only to find a new life in Sweden worse than the one she left behind.

Born Into Brothels

Documentary 2004 R 85 minutes. British filmmaker Zana Briski’s Oscar-winning documentary is a portrait of several unforgettable children who live in Calcutta’s red-light district, where their mothers work as prostitutes to ensure their survival. Spurred by the kids’ fascination with her camera, Briski decides to teach them photography. As they begin to look at and record their world through new eyes, the kids awaken to their own talents and sense of worth.

Hardcore

Drama 2004 NR 96 minutes. Filmmaker Dennis Iliadis takes a page from American indie films and refashions the genre to make his mark in this dark tale about prostitution starring Katerina Tsavalou, Danai Skiadi and Andreas Marianos. It’s a study of the seamy side of life as seen through the eyes of two beautiful young women caught in a tangled web of crime, addiction and deceit. Chained to their habits, they trade on their sexuality to satisfy their cravings.

India: The Sex Workers

Documentary Frontline / World 2004. Frontline/World producer Raney Aronson reports from the coming epicenter of the AIDS epidemic as sex workers and their clients struggle to contain the crisis. In cities rife with sex trafficking, where as many as 60 percent of the people are infected with HIV, can their fight help keep the disease from exploding?

Heidi Fleiss:
Hollywood Madam

Documentary 1995 NR From award-winning director Nick Broomfield comes a voyeuristic expose of Heidi Fleiss’s multimillion-dollar call-girl operation, which was busted in the mid-1990s. As Fleiss awaits her trial, a camera crew conducts a slew of interviews — with Alex Nagy (Fleiss’s former lover who sold her out), Fleiss’s mother, her employees, friends, enemies and many others — painting an intriguing portrait of one woman’s fall from grace in Tinseltown.

Heidi Fleiss:
The Would-Be Madam of Crystal

Documentary 2008 NR. This HBO documentary explores the life and latest project of notorious Hollywood madam and convicted felon Heidi Fleiss. Living in Crystal, Nev., Fleiss makes plans to open Heidi’s Stud Farm, the first legal brothel geared toward female clients. The program follows Fleiss’s progress with her new business idea while also examining her drug addiction, the numerous exotic birds she keeps as pets and her experiences with some of the town’s residents.

Beverly Hills Madam
(Ladies of the Night)

Drama 1986 NR 1hr 36m. Lil Hutton is the proprietor of a high-end brothel that’s doing great business until problems begin to crop up with her carefully groomed staff.

Accattone

Drama 1961 NR 116 minutes. In his first feature film, writer, director and poet Pier Paolo Pasolini explores the cultural and social landscape of the “little homelands” of his native Italy through the story of a rural pimp named Accattone (Franco Citti) who battles his instincts and dabbles in love. Hoping to impress the beautiful Stella (Franca Pasut) and win her heart, Accattone vows to change his ways but finds he ultimately isn’t capable of a virtuous life.

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