Over the past weekend at The Bloody Hero International Film Festival I had the opportunity to see some films that weren’t part of what I had to watch on the jury. American Courtesans was the first one I sat down to watch on Friday. It’s a documentary about the sex industry from insiders in the trade. It was something Kristen DiAngelo, the film’s star, writer and producer, felt very passionately about. She wanted to show what the mainstream media sensationalize with honesty, good or bad. She wanted to interview men and women and let them just talk without fear.
When I first sat down to watch the film I got the distinct impression this was a movie made to sensationalize the sex trade and push for it’s legalization. In fact, that impression stuck with for a while during the film. It really wasn’t until a day later as I reflected on the film that I came to the realization that it wasn’t a propaganda film about legalizing prostitution. It was just a simply a film where these people in the business could open up and share their feelings about the business they’d chosen for themselves, good or bad.
The film shows women in the industry from all walks of life. One woman who was a real estate agent in Florida and chose this life after the market collapsed and she could no longer support herself in the trade she had originally chosen. Another woman ended up in the life after her husband had introduced her to it. One woman did it in order to support her son. The son was also interviewed. It was an incredibly moving moment watching this man talk about his love for his mother and the sacrifices she made in order to raise him.
Whether you agree with the lifestyle or not doesn’t matter when watching this film. It’s all about getting caught up in watching these women telling their stories, many of which are heartbreaking. It is definitely worth seeing. It is a more honest look at women in this trade than anything else I have ever seen.
This movie is a sold 4 out of 5 stars. The women are at times funny, sad and always engaging.
For more on this film you can see my interview with Kristen DiAngelo soon on YouTube and hear the audio interview later today on my podcast – The Gorram Nerd Hour.