Saturday, May 3, 2014

Skin On Skin (Television Review: Love For Sale, Mondays on BBC4 England)

In this ever changing world, a lot of major cities seems to be really losing their edge. It started in New York City a long time ago, and Rupert Everett has proclaimed that it has also affected London, particularly SoHo where the "seedy" places are disappearing bit by bit. Perhaps this is the reason why Everett embarked on a documentary called "Love For Sale." (It is a two part documentary on BBC4 in England) On the first part, "Why People Sell Sex," Rupert explores the  various ways and reasons why people sell their skin for money. Are they victims, or are they really in control? It may be interesting to note that Everett himself has admitted to selling when he was younger, and in here he also admits hiring prostitutes during his wilder days.  Everett presents both sides: from a twenty eight year old mother in Liverpool who wants to just giver her daughter a good life to a high-end Mayfair escort who services rich men. There are quite a few poignant segments. I liked his interview of a Jordanian Mulsim in Tel Aviv who is peddling because it's the only way he knows how to make money as he is not authorized to work in Israel. It gives a certain irony - here is this young man in the middle of a religious war, and still sex still sells. Everett travels back to Paris' Bois de Boulougne where his friend named Lychee - a sex worker - was murdered in the line of work. He gathers old friends from there and they have a cocktail party at a backseat of a car (where these workers bring their tricks) Everett tell a story where he had to identify Lychee's body and was surprised she still has a penis. (One of her friends confessed to Everett that Lychee was madly in love with him)  There are some funny bits: Bruno, a gay rentboy, tells Everett that he just came from Los Angeles, where he was in big demand because Americans love uncut penises, and he has one. Everett tries to get to the philosophy of prostitution, too. He presents argument about organized religion shaming the industry, and how in his readings he found out that Jesus was friends with a male prostitute, and saw him before heading to the Last Supper. This is a thought-provoking documentary, and I learned a lot and was entertained thoroughly by it. I cannot wait for the second part.

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