Parisian socialite Anne is an established journalist working for the magazine Elle. She is working on a new feature about young women who work as prostitutes in order to pay for their studies. The interviews she conducts with two girls who discuss their experiences openly give the journalist pause for thought. What does it mean to choose to sell ones body? And what does it say about society that wealthy married men are the ones who make the most of such ‘services’? Moreover, how should we react when these girls admit that they are not just in it for things like food and a roof over their heads, but that they actually enjoy what they do and hope that it will help them climb the social ladder? The film takes a broad look at prostitution as a phenomenon without making hasty moral judgements. Anne has to admit that in her profession she, too, is obliged to sell herself. Her marriage also involves her doing things she does not necessarily like but which seem requisite to maintaining certain material standards. The deeper she investigates the interplay between money, sex, love, freedom and enforcement, the more she discovers about her own fetters and desires. –Berlinale
Małgorzata Szumowska (born 26 February 1973 in Cracow, Poland) – is a Polish director, screenwriter and producer. Szumowska is the daughter of journalists Maciej Szumowski and Dorota Terakowska and the sister of Wojciech Szumowski, a documentary film director.
Szumowska spent two years studying History of Art at Jagiellonian University before she started film studies. Szumowska graduated from the celebrated film college in Łódź, which boasts such alumni as Andrzej Wajda, Roman Polański or Krzysztof Kieślowski. As a student, Szumowska made a short which was ranked 14th in the history of Łódź Film School Cisza (Silence) is a short documentary film in which Szumowska tried to capture a simple life of a Polish rural family.
Szczęśliwy człowiek (Happy man)
Szumowska graduated from the film college in 1998 and made her debut feature film Szczęśliwy człowiek (Happy Man) in 2001. The film was nominated to The European Film Award and Szumowska became a member… read more
Szumowska came into her own with this picture and gave us a strong spirted work that provided a work in which a bourgeois woman working as a journalist for vogue suddenly calls her self image and view of prostitution both into question while looking into students who prostitue themselves to pay for school. Script doesn't go deep enough but Binoche adds a deeper level with her magnificient performance.
Nothing new to say here, but it is well acted and directed. The use of explicit imagery of the girls work is a mistake - Why do we see their sexual exchanges and not those of Anne and her husband? The reason is both the perceived shock value of the prostitution and maybe star power. The film touches on the topic of internet porn which would be more valid a topic in many ways. Binoche is damn good... maybe too good.
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