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Eight women wake up every morning, get dressed, eat, put on make-up, do their hair, dress up and get ready for a grueling, demeaning night of work. They're the staff at a brothel outside a major American city, serving the spoiled, rich, entitled and curious. House of Little Deaths spends a week with women who've been reduced to objects in the eyes of everyone outside the house.Written by
House of Little Deaths is the story of a group of women who live and work as prostitutes in a brothel in Philadelphia. It is presented in documentary style making it easy to forget the story is fiction and may not be a realistic portrail of life in a brothel.
The women have bonded to a signifagant extent into a family. Yet they still seem to feel a great deal of loneliness, disatissfaction with their lives and bodies and isolation from their local community and the world as a whole. They feel trapped in their lives by a lack of options, lack of outside relationships and the hold of sisterhood they have grown into. They seem to have a general dislike for their clients and are awkward interacting with them.
The film is long and plodding but it eventually grabs you through the dramatic cinematography. The cinematography is rather avant garde with extended scenes in black and white, false color or soft focus. There are extended close ups such as face, feet, knees with no dialog. The faces are particularly gripping as the videographer and actresses work very well together to subtly capture emotions and emotional transitions.
Over all it is a sad, depressing look at the lives of prostitutes even though they have excellent working conditions. "Little Deaths" normally refers to female orgasms but I think the intent here is a more morose reference to the women's lives. Even joyous events are met with trepidation. I can't can speak to the accuracy of this perspective but the film encourages the viewer to look at prostitution in it's mundane reality rather than the stereotypical perspective of Hollywood films.
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