Whores' Glory (2011) Poster


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Amazing fly-on-the-wall documentary
evening14 May 2012
Warning: Spoilers
What is it like to work as a "fish-bowl" prostitute in Thailand? Here you'll get to eavesdrop on the girls as they don their number tags and sit demurely behind a window as guys in suits drop in after work to ogle them, ask whether they provide "full service," and narrow their choices.

This incredible documentary tracks prostitutes not only in a glitzy Thai club but also in a Bangladeshi bazaar and along a dirt road in Mexico as the women compete for johns, talk about how painful large penises can be, and dicker with low-ballers.

As the Village Voice reviewer points out, this film deftly juxtaposes the misery of the prostitutes with the self-satisfied braggadocio of their clients.

Some things I learned about foreign prostitutes: Work isn't as plentiful as you might think; johns are often shameless cheapskates, prostitutes are frequently repelled by the men who paw them, and they may resort to superstition, black magic, and crack to make it through their workaday routines.

The movie gains unbelievable verisimilitude as it focuses on a Mexican prostitute ("If you don't come it's not my problem") and her easy-going john, who pays his tariff without ejaculating and tries in vain to learn his partner's name.

The intimacy and honesty of this film are its greatest attributes. I won't soon forget it.
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Powerful, but misleading
hellhound825 January 2013
The film is interesting and powerful, albeit depressing. No idea how the director got access to give us such a candid look, but this is a dark side of the world you won't see anywhere else. The subject is self explanatory, if you're at all interested about the lives of these women in Thailand, Bangladesh, and Mexico then you should experience this.

My one critique is thematically, the movie is about prostitution in abject poverty, not prostitution as a "job", but does not make any distinction. The prostitutes in Bangladesh and Mexico he shows were in absolutely horrifying conditions - they were forced into it, threatened if they tried to leave, and barely paying for food. Whereas in Amsterdam, Germany, and even many in Bangkok treat it as an occupational choice. They can get other jobs, but choose to do this. Those are two VERY different circumstances that can have very different effects on people physically and emotionally.

That would be my critique to keep in mind while watching. The movie is not so much a commentary on the evils of prostitution or even the lives of prostitutes, as it is delving into the darkest depth of what desperate conditions can bring.
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Gripping docu about the women in various red light areas throughout the world
DopamineNL17 December 2013
While the chitchatting girls of Bangkok may initially make you think it's actually not that bad, the back alley brothel in Bangladesh kicks you in the stomach. Remember while watching: 100 Taka = €0,95. And while the men are reduced to (nasty, ignorant, or at least naive) animals that can't help but exert their primal urges ('without the brothel all women would get raped all the time' is a telling quote), it's the madams' treatment of their girls that will truly horrify any viewer. The documentary ends slightly surrealistic, though not unsuitable, in a drug-fueled Mexican red light area.

What probably struck me most were the small rituals, often merely casual habits, that are used by the girls to keep hanging on in their incredibly hard life.

One can argue (as I'm sure has been done) whether 'dramatic' music in such a documentary is fitting. Nevertheless, the film is gripping, beautifully made, and if it wasn't such a nasty side of humanity the images and music would be enchanting. But without a happy end.
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Depressing, Highly Effective and Great
anchovyd19 February 2013
I wasn't sure what to expect when my wife picked out this movie to watch but man was this movie ever thought provoking and interesting. What makes the film unique is that there is no narration or cuts to "experts" and hardly any interviews. The camera is more or less a fly on the wall. The only negative this is that the depressing music is cranked a little too high in the mix and is really obtrusive at times.

The movie covers prostitution in Thailand, Bangladesh and Mexico. The documentary in specific looks at a midrange operation in Thailand and a sad and depressing filthy brothel in Bangladesh with young girls, and a low rent operation in Mexico. The movie is very effective.

Some complain that he isn't painting a fair picture of prostitution leaving out the nice clubs in Amsterdam and Nevada. In fact in the Mexican town you can see a big building in many scenes with the word Lipstick on it. This is a nice strip club with good looking girls who you can take upstairs for about five times what the girls who make it into the documentary charge, but instead he shows a sorry strip club with very disturbing looking girls and the low rent section of the Tolerance Zone with crack ladies of the night.

If he just showed the glitzy brothels, this movie wouldn't have nearly the same impact as it does. The Thai joint is the only glitzy joint here with hairdressers and makeup people dolling them up before the night. The Bangladesh and Mexican places don't even have running water and the girls are lucky if they even have a mirror.

Bottom line: this movie is really great. Even my wife liked it and she usually hates documentaries and anything with subtitles... I am glad that she picked it out. Only the music detracts from this moving documentary.
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Who are we to judge?
nobodywhoareyou5 August 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I had this movie in my instant queue for quite some time, but it never seemed to be the right time to watch. However, today as I scrolled through the 200+ long list of movies, I stopped over the title, and decided to go ahead and watch.

It's always easy to judge someone based on something you know nothing about. Many people seem to think that all prostitutes are crack-heads or alcoholics, they think they're the scum of the universe; this movie shows you different.

The movie gives us an almost one-of-a-kind look at the lives of these ladies, one that you aren't likely to get without going out and experiencing it personally. It shows you women who are wives and mothers, girls who are selling themselves to be able to afford to take classes in another vocation. It shows us that many of them share the same hopes and dreams many of us have; to have a good life and not have to worry about where your next meal will come from, to fall in love.

I'm not naive enough to think that all prostitutes' lives are the same, but that just goes to show that you shouldn't stereotype. If you were a young woman and your only choices were to either live on the street and starve to death, or sell your body for just enough to get by, what would you do? What if selling your body was the only way to get money to feed your children?

Overall a very poignant film which I enjoyed, I would recommend it if you're not offended easily by sexual situations.
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Good movie
David Langston17 February 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I liked the movie because it appears to share honest/authentic conversations with prostitutes around the world.

Comes off as a lament for prostitution, culture and humanity, although some of the ladies appear to be OK or even happy with their lifestyle. Not sure it impacted my opinion much but seems like the type of film that I will remember.

Ultimately, it leaves the viewer to ask all the whys, and in that way it comes off more like a piece of art work than journalism, which I like.

I get bothered by people blathering about propaganda and neutrality. I have read few books and watched few movies that came across as truly neutral. I'm not sure it's even possible if I were nitpicking. Easiest solution is for someone to make a case, make a point, weave a message, create a propaganda piece and let someone else counter it in their own film or book. The more potent the message, the more it will take into account counterpoints and other perspectives anyway. The artist, write, filmmaker always has to leave something out, which means he has to make choices, which means it's always biased. I prefer biased. I added this paragraph because IMDb won't let me publish without at least ten lines, so I had to add something.
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ryanrmoos6 February 2013
Warning: Spoilers
This is a wonderful film, it's truly dark, and quite frankly disturbing.

However, The reason I am giving it lower marks is the music. The music is so distracting, I find myself muting the audio just to avoid it. I would have liked the film a great deal more without the music. Musical taste, is, however, highly subjective.

How the documentarian was able to have such access, that is so "National Geographic Real", is beyond comprehension. I think that's what makes this film a visual masterpiece. The picture edit is composed, flowing, patient and poignant.

So, this is certainly a must SEE film, but thank goodness for subtitles.

Yes! I am sure some people will love the music.... :-)
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The Real World of Prostitution--Three Views
atlasmb7 November 2013
Whore's Glory is a documentary about prostitution. There is no voice over, no narration, no script. It merely records a visual documentation of the lives of prostitutes in three different venues (located in Thailand, Bangladesh and Mexico).

Of course the film was edited, but other than that, it provides an unfiltered view of prostitution. It focuses on the prostitutes themselves, enough so that the viewer sees the conditions they live in/under. They sometimes talk to the camera. We learn of their sorrows, their problems, and how they deal with the realities of prostitution.

In Thailand, the girls do not seem as victimized. Oddly, some of them spend much of their money on the "bar boys" who entertain women for money.

In Bangladesh, these women are truly victims of economic hardship. Women bring their daughters into the business. Society is so stratified that people's choices are limited. The caste system still controls much of life there.

Because the camera is just an observer, there is no glorification of the job. In all three locations, waiting is a large part of the job. Religion and superstitious mysticism play a part in the women's lives, just as for others in their societies.

One woman in Bangladesh who comes across as more sensitive, perhaps more intelligent explains the horrible reality she must confront every day, saying "Women are unhappy creatures." Philosophically, she wonders why it is that way and how it can change.
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Look into another World
alex Turner3 November 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Whore's Glory is a glimpse into a world not seem by most people. I know that here in the US there are a lot of people that think it's cool to glamorize "sex work" but this documentary shows what the reality is for a lot of women. This documentary is made up of 3 parts. The first part takes place in Bangkok a city notorious for its sleaze. The segment largely takes place in the "fishbowl" brothel where women sit around all day in a glass display room until they get called up to service a john. As degrading it is to sit in a fishbowl all day like a piece of merchandise, the Thai ladies have it way better than the women in the Bangladesh segment. The Bangladesh brothel is truly a house of horrors. It's basically a long, dimly lit corridor with lined with rooms. You don't just have prostitutes and johns milling around, you have small children and animals running around as well. Some of the girls in the brothel are obviously underage and there is a segment where one girl is sold and indentured to a madam. The whole thing is incredibly depressing.

The third and in my opinion weakest segment is one that takes place in Reynosa Mexico, a town not far from the US border. In my opinion this was the weakest segment because the weird surrealistic tone didn't fit with the rest of the piece and I could have done without the graphic sex scene.

The documentary is beautifully shot, especially the first two segments. There is no narrator and everything is presented without commentary. The subjects actions and words speak for themselves. What I didn't like is the sometimes intrusive hipster music soundtrack and the weakness of the third segment. Overall I do think the doc is worth checking out. The Bangladesh segment is really moving and is worth watching for that alone. I am also really saddened to hear that the director died a few years back. RIP, Michael Glawogger your contribution to cinema will not be forgotten.
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Depressing and Real
Mike B18 May 2016
Warning: Spoilers
I guess it doesn't get much more real than this. And it's a very depressing world for these women – particularly the segment in Bangladesh. We are shown actual film footage inside these brothels. The customers give their reasons for the visits. This is no glamour portrayal of these women – and the men who visit them.

One brothel is in Bangkok and it would be the most "upscale" one we are exposed to. At least the women go out to eat and do some shopping.

I somewhat question the ethics of the Bangladesh segment. Obviously many of the girls were underage. One was being recruited with no chance of leaving for over a year. As a warning the entire film is depressing – but these parts were squalid and brutal and showed extreme exploitation of minors – by women I would add. But as I mentioned this is as it is.

The final segment is in Mexico and at least the women were older (or most of them). Also we are shown other aspects of this "business", as in drug addiction. One woman is obviously high, and others take crack.

I have to give the film-makers credit for going into this world. One role of a documentary is to unmask another world – and this it certainly does. And a film on this type of prostitution should be depressing.
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Bluepig11227 January 2013
Warning: Spoilers
This film was a surprise. It was quite interesting, and gave a real look into prostitution that I didn't expect to see. A very well made film. It wasn't until the end that I was disappointed. The graphic sex acts shown being performed were unnecessary, as was all the nudity that didn't present itself anywhere else in the film. The first two countries, Thailand and India, gave us honest looks into the lives of the women. I felt the last portion on Mexico further victimized these women and basically turned into a porno. The film lost some credibility when women started whipping their breasts out and allowed themselves to be filmed giving blow jobs.
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You Call This "Glory"??
Dalbert Pringle7 August 2016
And, as the saying goes.... "What's a nice girl like you doing in a place like this?"

*Be Warned!* - Whores' Glory is an extremely stark and vivid "human-nature" documentary that (due to its sad, depressing, and startlingly candid subject matter) is certainly not going to appeal to everyone.

Filmed exclusively in Thailand, Bangladesh, and Mexico - If you've ever been curious to know what a whore's life might be like, then here's a professionally presented production that'll certainly open your eyes to all of the ins & outs (pardon the pun) of such a down'n'dirty business as that of the prostitution trade.

Competently directed by German film-maker, Michael Glawogger - My one big beef about Whores' Glory has to do with Glawogger's choice not to document the ways and means of whores both in a European setting, as well as a glimpse at all of the slutty action in America, too.

I personally think that that would have given the viewer a much more rounded perspective on the "world's-oldest-profession" as it exists today.

*Special note* - While visiting Liberia, film-maker, Michael Glawogger died in 2014 (at the age of 54) from malaria.
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This was a waste of time...
Paul Magne Haakonsen12 December 2013
This documentary was nowhere near as interesting as it could have been. Why? Well because we never really got a real glimpse into the lives and existences of the prostitutes portrayed in the documentary.

The documentary is divided into three segments; "The Fishtank" in Bangkok/Thailand, "The City of Joy" in Faridpur/Bangladesh, and finally "The Zone" in Reynosa/Mexico.

"The Fishtank" proved to be the most 'glamorous' of the places shown and of the three segments. Now, the word is being used in a less than positive way, mind you. Here the women sit on display behind a wall of glass for the patrons in the bar to gawk and pick from, calling out their numbers when they settle on a woman. This segment was also the least interesting, because it basically told no story of the women working there. It was all just about showing how the business worked at that given location.

"The City of Joy" was the most downtrodden and depressing of the segments. However, this was also where the director actually started to step up and show the story of some of the women working there. The conditions shown here were just atrocious, and there were even little children living in the environment. The milieu here was really harsh and gray.

"The Zone" turned out to be the must 'in-your-face' segment, in the terms that we we got to see the conditions the women were working under and also showed that drugs was, of course, a part of life in "The Zone". This segment also allowed the viewers to get to become acquainted with some of the women there. Be warned though, that this segment does hold some sexual graphic scenes, which might not just be suitable for anyone.

I had expected to actually get a better insight in the world of prostitution and the world these people live in. But at almost 2 hours, this documentary proved to be very little educational. And as the end credits started to roll on the screen, I must admit that I sat there thinking "what was the purpose of this?". Director Michael Glawogger veered right away from anything that really could pass as educational and proper documentary.

I just love the irony of how the synopsis claims: "The documentary revolves around the lives and individual hopes, needs and experiences of the women." This is such a stretch and can hardly pass as being proper information about the contents.

If you enjoy documentaries about the shadier sides of life, then chances are that your time is much better spent elsewhere.
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Sad And Depressing
billcr1219 October 2013
Whores' Glory is told in three segments which begins in Bangkok, Thailand at a strange place which looks like a hotel with a room with long benches where the girls sit with numbered buttons and are chosen by customers looking through a window. It is all extremely depressing and sad. The camera follows the young women as they casually discuss everyday problems with boyfriends and other mundane matters. The johns talk about their wives and the need to escape the boredom of marriage. At least Bangkok is clean, whereas the next location in the City of God in Bangladesh is beyond filthy. The brothel district is a dirty and congested area where the whores are packed together in attached stone buildings which are impossible to describe. The poverty is overwhelming. The final city is in Mexico in a place called the red zone. Some of the hookers are in the street, while most are standing at the door of motel rooms attempting to lure men. There is some nudity here, and we finally see a sexual encounter which as cold as ice. In the end, the almost two hour length of the documentary is painful to watch, as no one at all will ever escape their tragic lives.
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Glad I don't live in Mexico
bangkok-125 February 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I didn't get this film or what it was trying to say. So you walk into a brothel, do a few interviews of the girls, staff and patrons? And? Then you go to a completely unrelated place and showcase they way it's done there? I mean, was the point to show that Thailand has some of the best hookers in the world? All I know after watching this film is that I'm glad I don't live in Mexico or India.

So I guess I'll put a spoiler alert on here: India and Mexico suck for getting hookers, while Thailand is pretty decent.

Maybe the most rare footage of this film: The 3 minute shot of two dogs that are stuck together outside the brothel. I saw this for the first time in Thailand and was confused. My first thought was that some prankster had tied the two dogs together. Upon asking more and doing some research, I learned that a dog penis is unlike a human one. Blood can get stuck at the tip, giving a light bulb like effect when humping is interrupted. If blood flow is cut off, then the blood in the bulb end can't get back into the dogs body - leaving the dogs penis stuck inside the female dog. So yeah, they are stuck facing opposite ways for who knows how long.

Also, there are people giving this 8, 9 and 10 stars. Really, this is a top 250 movie in the history of film making? Go look at the average rating of the best movies in the world and ask yourself, does this flick deserve a spot among Godfather and Pulp Fiction?
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Not bad, not good either
Warning: Spoilers
"Whores' Glory" is a German/Austrian co-production from 5 years ago written and directed by Michael Glawogger, a filmmaker who died from malaria during working on one of his more recent projects. This is also why I wish I could go more easy on his work here, probably the most famous film of his career. Sadly, I must say this only had a few good moments and unfortunately not enough for pretty much exactly two hours. The film examines the level of prostitution in several parts of the world including Latin America and Asia for example. I must say though that there were no real differences. The only real differences came from the personal approach that all the prostitutes gave the subject and their profession. Only very few seemed to have no problems at all with it, most of them were suffering, but they needed to do it for the money. And this made it a very tragic watch.

All in all, I think this documentary would have worked better if it had been kept at 90 minutes max and maybe focused only on one specific area of the planet. This way he could have given a deeper insight and we may have learned something that goes beyond the surface. Not saying this film doesn't, but it certainly could have been a better film in my opinion. My expectations were not fulfilled looking at the IMDb rating and also at other critics reviews. So my suggestion is that you watch this if you are really interested in the subject or if you come from any of the regions depicted in the film to get a realistic approach that you probably would not have otherwise. Everybody else can skip it I guess. Not recommended.
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