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This brazen new documentary from Michael Glawogger is exotic, but ultimately surprisingly unnecessary....
Kino / 119 Minutes / 2012 / Unrated / Street Date: January 8, 2013
Michael Glawogger's documentary Whore's Glory is a serious downer. Not to say that any nonfiction film made about the Bangladeshi prostitution trade would be necessarily jovial and uplitting, but Glawogger's perspective toward the world's oldest profession is surprisingly removed and steely. He goes out of his way not to have any moral judgments whatsoever about his characters, yet somehow this unbiased nature leaves his film feeling desolate and empty.
If the eastern world in Whore's Glory is to be believed, sex is not only a frequent activity, but a mainstay of both culture and commerce. And Glawogger doesn't stop there - we go to Bangkok and Mexico, with the film assessing the similarities and differences of these bordellos and what those overlaps might mean. I mean, we all have sex - the vast majority of us exist because of it - but this solemn act of love has many incarnations and repercussions: and Glawogger's cameras are there to capture it.
I just wish the guy had more of a point to make with his doc. We get an intriguing fly-on-the-wall look at the lives led by Glawogger's subjects in Whore's Glory, but his 'it is what it is' non-stance on his central focus makes the movie hollow and unconvincing. One doesn't necessarily need a firm thesis statement when compiling a documentary like this one, but at the end of Whore's Glory, one gets the impression that one has been drug through the trenches for no particular reason. Glawogger's subjects deserve more than that.