|MICHAEL GLAWOGGER||Biography | Comments|
TWO GENERAL PROCEDURES
WHORES' GLORY took four years from start to finish. Pre-production was about two months and shooting about 10 days for each segment. Production was very different in each country, but there were two general procedures: getting permission and convincing the working girls. Even once you get all the right permits, however, you don't know yet if a single woman will cooperate. That's when the real work starts. For example in Faridpur, the "City of Joy" compound had over 600 prostitutes. I had to meet each and every one of them. I had to find out if they were interesting enough for the film. Then I had to build trust with gifts and photographs. All without knowing if they would actually be willing to appear in the film. The more time I spent there, the more trustworthy I became. But the moment you show up with a camera, everything changes: it brings tension... In Thailand, it took almost two years to get permission but from then on it was all very smooth and businesslike. The "boss" sets the rules and everyone follows, working girls and filmmakers alike. No discussions. Mexico was somewhat similar to Bangladesh: a mixture of money and trust determined what was allowed and what wasn't.
A PLACE OF SECRECY
All of the working girls were initially reluctant to speak on film. A brothel is THE place where you are most unwelcome with a film camera. It is a place of secrecy and privacy for both workers and customers. So in the beginning nobody wants to be filmed or photographed. Establishing trust is a very long process. It took a lot of time, patience and persistence. I had to promise the women that the film would not be shown in wide theatrical release in their home countries. With the customers, it was sometimes more difficult because they are not usually the same ones everyday. But like the workers, frequent customers opened up once they got the feeling that we were not there to condemn what they do. In some cases we couldn't film because not all the customers wanted to be in the film. Then we selected the ones who were willing and for that period of time nobody else could enter the establishment. But there is no situation in the film that would not take place like in the way it is shown.
THE NATURE OF PROSTITUTION
Every prostitute wants to be paid for everything that has remotely anything to do with interpersonal contact. In WHORES' GLORY, there is not a single interview that was not paid for in some form. This was necessary because we were essentially taking away work time from the women. Time is an important factor in a brothel. If you don't let customers in for an hour, that's a very specific loss of earnings. We had to pay for the trust that we had established. Payment is the nature of prostitution. Even if a prostitute has fun having sex with you, you'll still have to pay for it. And that's why you'll also have to pay for their stories. They don't tell them to you because you have such a sweet face. In a way, it was like being a customer with a camera. You pay; you get service. If they like you, then they might even open up to you. But if you only pay, you get standard answers.
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