By William Stafford-Coyte

whores-glory-650x351Whores’ Glory is a 2011 documentary film written and directed by Michael Glawogger. Whores’ Glory is a compelling documentary, but Glawogger does not examine fully the problems of global prostitution because his film is anthropological in nature. The film shows a slice of life and allows the audiences to draw their own conclusion. The film is divided into three parts: Bangkok, Thailand; Faridpur, Bangladesh; and Reynosa, Mexico. Whores’ Glory studies the life of female prostitutes in these three cities as a framework for the study of global prostitution. Glawogger presents the audience with scenes and dialogue that show the harsh and cruel life of a female prostitute, but at what cost? Glawogger misses the opportunity to address the wider problems of global prostitution. The film does look beautiful, and it also contains some wonderful music. But the film has such a narrow focus that its effectiveness is limited.

Whores’ Glory is a graphic and unshakeable display of female global prostitution. The film is beautifully shot, which may be the reason that it won the Austrian Film Award for best cinematography, but Whores’ Glory is limited in its perspective because it is a documentary about women who are prostitutes for men. The glamorous cinematography in Whores’ Glory illustrates the audience what happens in brothels, but it does not say these things are bad or good; it is up to the audience to decide and make judgment. While Michael Glawogger does produce a captivating documentary, his motivations for the film are unclear because Whores’ Glory only shows a portion of what it would be like to be a female prostitute. Michael Glawogger’ manipulation of scenes and subjects leaves out the cries for help these women might express. Whores’ Glory is a good documentary for what it is; but overall the film is missing the larger picture of global prostitution; it is missing the true ideas and opinions a female and male, young and old, prostitute would want to communicate to an audience.