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
Charlatan clinic is pleased to announce the world premiere of all 6 Whore films: ‘Underage Sex Worker’, ‘Married Woman’, ‘Illegal Migrant’, ‘Rent Boy’, ‘Transgender’ and ‘Refugee’ to be screened at Thievery Studio on the 8 April, 2016.
The ‘Whore’ project was initially a theatre work performed nationally throughout 2014. All six monologues were then devised to screen by Melissa Fergusson and mentored by writer, Donna Banicevich-Gera.
The core cast for ‘Whore’ Films being Geraldine Creff (‘Underage Sex Worker’, ‘Illegal Migrant’), Rebecca Parr (‘Married Woman’, ‘Refugee) and Lee ah yen Faatoia (‘Transgender’, ‘Rent Boy). Each short film runs for 12 minutes and delivers a snapshot of each street sex worker based on true life experiences in Karangahape Road, Auckland.
Sponsors kindly supporting this event: Roccabella Jewellery, Thievery Studio, Topic Rentals, Paper Bag Princess, Drag Queens: Buckwheat & Tess Tickle, Splice, Four Eyes Media NZ, LYC, Clash Boutique, LEW Performance, Stolen Rum and Foxes Island Wines.
Guest Blogger: Donna Banicevich-Gera
‘Whore’ written and directed by Melissa Fergusson is a risky, emotional, moving production. It’s not surprising some may find it a hard collection of stories to swallow. It is. But the group of monologues, told by six characters, is neither flippant, nor forgettable.
The stories, presented by three actors, were developed by Melissa based on the experiences of sex workers from the streets of Auckland’s Karangahape Rd.
Pick any story, pick any actor – they’re all good. So gut wrenchingly good in fact, you’d be hard pressed to choose a preference. Each story has its place, and is retold with a heartfelt honesty.
Melissa’s work is unique, in your face contemporary theatre. She’s prepared to put herself on the line. The idea of her taking on the easy projects is probably never going to occur. To date her plays have all pushed the boundaries, and ‘Whore’ is no different.
Donna Banicevich Gera