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Street pimps, all of them African-American, discuss their lives and work: getting started, being flamboyant, pimping in various U.S. cities, bringing a woman into their group, taking a woman from another pimp, and the rules and regulations of pimping. The men are clear: it's about money. The women work every night, hustle hard, turn over all their earnings, and steal anything they can from clients. We meet a few of the women, who tell us what they want from a pimp. We also listen to a women who's legally employed at a Nevada brothel; we meet her White boss, a legal pimp. He and the street pimps, some of whom are now retired, make the case for legalizing the trade. Written by
You have to hand it to Albert and Allan Hughes, two fearless film makers, that take us along to see how the other half live. The world of the pimp, in this case, American pimps, is something no one had dared to explore up to now. Whether it's worth your while to take a look, or not, is ultimately, up to the viewer.
We are presented several men who make a living out of women. These men that are showcased in the documentary appear to be well adjusted to their status. They are all successful in what they do, otherwise, one can't explain how they have stayed around for such a long time. Their stories, which obviously are spontaneous, tend to bore us eventually. After all, how many times can one hear them repeat themselves again and again using the same derogatory tones for the women they exploit.
What the Hughes didn't show is the other side of the coin: how these women exploited by their pimps. They only present a few prostitutes who appear to appreciate the role of this element in their lives. The directors also tend to glorify, in a way, the sleekness of the pimps' style, which tend to make them dress in outrageous costumes that only them can wear in our society.
The film is an eye opener about an underclass we know little, or nothing about. One can only hope they will not be role models for others to follow in their footsteps.
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