Monday, February 7, 2011

Life Inside a Brothel - Louis Theroux

I think it's often assumed that working in one of Nevada's legal brothels must be a piece of cake compared to working the streets. Maybe. But the life of a person seen as nothing more than a masturbatory aid is not a lot of fun.

This is a pretty nonjudgmental documentary.

Louis and the Brothel

Intrepid TV host Louis Theroux reveals the inside story of day-to-day life in one of America’s largest legal brothels. Over six weeks of a summer, Louis moved in with Lance and Susan, the brothel owners, and the working girls at the newly opened Wild Horse Resort and Spa, Reno, in the state of Nevada.

As he quickly becomes entwined in the lives of the prostitutes, Louis soon realises that it’s not only the men who are paying a price for sex.

The early enthusiasm of 19-year-old new girl Emily – who insists she’s just in it for the sex – rapidly dwindles as the days go by. Belle, who is 21 but looks 12, has become a favourite amongst the paedophiles that visit the house, and Haley, perhaps the brightest and the most complex of the working girls, struggles with alcoholism as she contemplates a life outside prostitution.

But for owners Lance and Susan, the four million dollar bordello is the realisation of a dream. The two met when Susan worked as a prostitute and Lance became one of her regular clients. They hope they’ve created a house of love, providing unsurpassed luxury and service, but also a place that offers the girls an opportunity to develop a life beyond a career in prostitution.

In Louis’s typical style, the documentary is non-judgemental, amusing and all the more revealing for its gentle prodding. What is uncovered raises questions and challenges preconceptions about the world’s oldest profession.

Part one:

Part two:

Part three:

Part four:

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