In 1917, in the red light district Storyville, New Orleans, the prostitute Hattie lives with her twelve year-old daughter Violet in the fancy brothel of Madame Nell, where she works. Photographer Ernest J. Bellocq has an attraction to Hallie and Violet and he is an habitué of the whorehouse. One day, Madame Nell auctions Violet's virginity and the winner pays the fortune of US$ 400 to spend the night with the girl. Then Hattie marries a wealthy client and moves to Saint Louis, leaving Violet in the brothel alone. Violet decides to marry Bellocq and she moves to his house. Until the day that Hattie, who has overcome her past, comes to Bellocq's house with the intention to take Violet with her. —Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
I really liked this film for what it is. I also think that it is undoubtedly the most eye-opening film I ever saw in terms of the reality of the daily life of some people. Violet grew up in this house full of prostitutes, without a childhood, never knowing how to behave as a child. She grew up knowing how to behave in order to promote business in their 'house'. The deflowering ritual that Violet had to undergo would have scared me senseless, and it is pitifully sad to think that she looked forward to it, only because then the other women in the house would really take her seriously. The fact of the matter is, this is a true story and people should watch it, even if only to realise how grateful we should be for not living in times like that, for growing up in times where we are actually given a choice.
- May 24, 2005
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