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David Fukamachi Regnfors,
Ruth Vega Fernandez
Call Girl is set in the late 1970s - a time time of women's liberation, sexual revolution, Swedish neutrality, nuclear power and social security. The film takes us on a trip from the very bottom of society, along dark back streets, through glitz and glamour, to the corridors of power which are a labyrinth of secrets. The story is inspired by a Swedish political scandal known as Bordellhärvan which linked underage prostitution with powerful customers believed to come from the highest levels of society. Written by
Powerful people can silence everyone, even filmmakers today.
This movie is a fictitious account of the infamous "Geijeraffären" from the mid 70's where powerful men of the upper Swedish hierarchies, even ministers, bought sexual favors from young call girls, provided for them by a notorious brothel madam.
The movie has a strong theme, about how men in powerful positions feel they are entitled to almost everything, even buying sex from underage girls. The men of the upper classes' abuse of power and money is shown very clearly, and they don't shy away from threats or even murder to cover up what they have done. The real focus though is on the unfortunate girls from society's lower classes, who are abused by these men without a second thought, and this makes for horrendous viewing that really makes you feel uncomfortable.
Unfortunately, the film's theme has somewhat been overshadowed by a controversy between the filmmakers and the Palme family. The hot topic is whether the prime minister in film is a portrayal of former Swedish prime minister Olof Palme or whether it is merely a fictional character. After initially defending their work, the director Michael Marcimain cowardly and spinelessly decided to cut his film, removing a key scene in a hotel room. Unfortunately, this leaves a HUGE plot hole, and the ending of the movie doesn't really make sense the same way without it.
Since I watched the censored blu-ray version I had to do some research afterward to piece together the importance of the missing scene with the rest of the movie.
The movie is a beautifully shot period piece and a top class conspiracy thriller reminding me of Robert Redford's best efforts back in the 70s like Three Days of the Condor or All the President's Men. However, it's tragic how the filmmakers failed do defend their excellent work and decided to cut their own movie after pressure from the Palme family. This act of cowardice is a source of frustration for everyone who is forced to watched the censored version and unfortunately this takes away some of the attention from the powerful theme of the film and what the filmmakers really wanted to say.
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