Review: Whore Films by Donna Banicevich Gera

Review – Whore Films 

The challenge in scriptwriting is saying as much as possible in the least amount of words and letting the visual images tell the story. Writer/director Melissa Fergusson definitely achieves this goal with her 6 short films: Married Woman, Transgender, Illegal Immigrant, Refugee, Underage, and Rent Boy.

 

Based on true stories, developed from interviewing sex workers from the streets of Karangahape Road in Auckland, these pieces provide insight into a sombre dark place. Painful episodes from the workers pasts play out with subtle characterization and haunting music in bleak settings. The characters struggles create the drama.

 

The world of each individual film is disturbing but is successful in taking the audience on a journey into situations of conflict and constant tension. The narratives are jarring because they force us to think outside of the imagination and make us focus on the reality of each workers personal position.

 

This collection of films raises many issues exposing complex scenarios about sex and relationships. They all work as stand-alone pieces but are also connected thematically. What emerges in my mind is that the films have been made to ‘educate’ and ‘question’ rather than to entertain. The audience is being asked to think.

 

On that note, you would have to be brain dead not to develop a real sense of empathy for these people. Thought provoking from beginning to end Whore Films equals job well done.

 

Donna Banicevich Gera

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