The End of Innocence: Bangkok Girl

6 Sep

This film has a hankie factor of 9.

Bangkok Girl is a 42 minute film documenting the life of Pla, a Thailand bar girl.

Made less on a shoestring budget than a duct tape and old gum budget, Bangkok Girl was made by Canadian filmmaker Jordan Clark, who had visited Thailand as a tourist and went back years later in order to learn more about the country’s nefariously wanton sex trade.

Before I’m accused of prudery, let’s clear something up:

I’m in favor of prostitution. It’s the oldest profession, and its complex role in society is often misunderstood by outsiders. While the majority of tricks are just straight sex, it’s not unheard of for people who are just unable to maintain relationships with others to utilize the services of sex workers. People who are shy or have emotional problems, widows and widowers, people who want a brief physical connection. I’ve read accounts of prostitutes who say that on some occasions, men just want to sleep next to them, want to have someone to wake up next to. That’s not the norm, but you see that it isn’t always a black and white issue.

The problem with prostitution though is that because it is illegal,  it is co-opted by criminal elements and the sex workers are horribly exploited. They have no say over their own lives, they are manipulated and controlled by their pimps, subjected to physical and mental abuse, exposed to unsafe, diseased conditions, and often killed when they try to escape.

Thailand is considered the Red Light district of earth. There are an estimated 800,000 girls and women working the sex trade–and that’s not counting the ladyboys or male prostitutes. Men can legally pay for a sex act, but women can’t charge for a sex act, a situation that is widely exploited by the police and pimps as they charge women operating costs.You see how this situation can cause problems–women with no education or career prospects working in an economically depressed country with a highly-corrupted civil infrastructure .

Yeah, it gets depressing.

Another interesting point was the industry of marrying falang (Western Foreigner) tourists. European tourists are aggressively pursued as possible johns, and also as possible meal tickets. At first I found it a loathsome institution, but came to understand that these women’s education ended at age 12 ( I think that’s when public school ends?) and they had no prospects at finding jobs other than bar girls, escorts or prostitutes.  Their job is finding a man who will support them.

I also came to reconsider the whole ‘creepy guy with a Thai mail-order wife’ thing, because as Pla’s plight unfolded I wanted to save her. I wanted to find some organization that helps Thai women get educations for jobs, or some kind of exchange program so they can get jobs in the US. I wanted to send her money so she could escape. I realized ‘shit, if I’m feeling this way watching a movie abotu it, imagine how someone who goes over there must feel after they’ve hung out with these girls for a week or so.’

Is it beyond the realm of possibility that some sex tourists head over there for a little fun, and find themselves making a real connection–or at least thinking they are, the way some men fixate on a stripper? Especially since the Thai girl’s expectations for true love are ‘don’t beat me, and please take care of me financially.’  I found myself rethinking the grossness of some socially awkward guy bringing home a Thai bride–who can blame or judge anyone for wanting to protect, to save, to rescue,  to play Prince Charming to these women, even the relationship dynamic is severely lopsided?

I’m going to tell you now that Bangkok Girl does not end well for Pla.

As a writer, I like to see a lot of the world. I can’t travel there, but I can learn from the observations of others–sometimes seeing something like Bangkok Girl, which both breaks the heart and turns the stomach, is necessary for helping to shift out of one’s comfort zone, but most of all, to remind us that our lives are pretty cushy by comparison.

I’d say if you’re going to see this one, have a small pile of something uplifting to watch afterwards. Like two or three Pixar movies, or some Wallace and Gromit.

Bangkok Girl is available on Instant Watch.

Advertisements

One Response to “The End of Innocence: Bangkok Girl”

  1. weight October 5, 2010 at 2:31 pm #

    i see what you did there

... but what do YOU think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

J. A. Allen

Scribbles on Cocktail Napkins

AfroSapiophile

Intelligent Black Thought.

Writing Is Hard Work

Musings of a hard working writer.

Janet Carr @

This Bug's Life

I create worlds. John E. Brito's Blog

Behind the scenes of John E. Brito's animated and live action (short) films & comics

Josep Goded

Seeking Truth

Stuff White People Like

This blog is devoted to stuff that white people like

Dark Matters

For Well-Rounded Blerds and POC Nerds

Examining the Odd

literature, visual art, music and film

My Year Cooking with Chris Kimball

Recipes from Cook's Illustated, Cook's Country and America's Test Kitchen

The Entertainment Patrol (and general musings)

My musings about everything from entertainment to life!

Writer's Haven

Words from heart

Lovecraft eZine

Weird Fiction, Cosmic horror, and the Cthulhu Mythos

breaktimestories

Musings, Short stories, Inspiration.

BROTHA WOLF

Howling For Justice!

MyCreativeRamblings.org

“I used to want to be an astronaut, but astronauts don't even go to the moon anymore.”

BecomeBetty.com

Food, drinks, style, and humor

BaileyBee

The Hive

Carmilita's Handmade Jewelry

handmade bead jewelry

Mark My World

Hacking life while enjoying everything in between

Really Awful Movies

Horror Movies, Science Fiction, Exploitation, Action, Genre Films.

yaskhan

Poetry, free verse, haiku, senryu, photography, books, art, philosophy , nature.

TheWarner

Your Source for Honest Commentary and Reviews

Rob Powell Writes

Let's see where this goes, starting with some short stories and flash fiction.

Opinionated Woman

Opinionated women of the world, unite!

BayArt

New Perspective on Life

What's Your Chic?

Your Chic. Your Style.

Meditating Millennial

A Millennial's Journey Into Meditation and Mindfulness

Sparkle With UC

Leave a Little Sparkle Wherever You Go

word and silence

poetry & prose by Tim Miller

Blog of the Dragon

Game of Thrones/Song of Ice and Fire news, theories, and other nerdy goodness

LOWLIFE MAGAZINE

"Find what you love and let it kill you." – Charles Bukowski

tekehdddddddddddddddddddddddddddd.wordpress.com/

About life, the universe and everything

Londongrad

Erotica City of London Russia Confessions

The Gymternet

The ultimate gym site. For the ultimate gym nerd.

witchlike

Exploring wise-craft and weirdness

CHILANGOGEEK

Hobbies, Comics, Customs & Peliculas

Forged From Reverie

A compendium of Fantasy, Fiction & Thoughts. Will you revel in Reverie?

The Alexandria Papers

Entertainment Reviews & Things Wondrous Strange

%d bloggers like this: