Hot Docs Review: Buying Sex [2013, Kent Nason & Teresa MacInnes]


Read this first bit with the Salt-n-pepa song in mind

lets talk about buying sex baby
it’s the subject of this document-tary
it talks about all the good things
and the bad things
about buying sex
lets talk about sex….

Anyways as you might imagine, Buying Sex is about the hot stove topic of legalizing prostitution. Kent Nason & Teresa MacInnes foray into the world of politics behind legalizing prostitution takes therm to a variety of places including New Zealand and Sweden, all of whom have taken different approaches to prostitution with varying results.

Even with the exotic locales, the bulk of the film takes place in Canada, focusing on the infamous Bedford vs Canada case of 2010. We get to see opinions on prostitution from both sides of the spectrum – on one side, there is a group of sex workers who are for the decriminalization of prostitution, and along with their lawyer, are clearly in the camp that wants to profit from the sex trade. The other side focuses on two former sex trade workers who are completely for abolishing prostitution entirely. It is pretty clear from the onset that one group entered the sex trade willingly while the other went as a last resort. Following a similar pattern, New Zealand and Sweden are used as counterpoints to the whole issue, with one country decriminalizing prostitution entirely awhile the other does the opposite. The results are mixed for both countries.

The directors did a good job of setting up the issue and balancing the documentary between the two sides. The talking heads in the movies goes beyond former sex-trade workers, and extends out to johns, professors and policy makers which gives the film a nice variety of opinions. A film that challenges you to make your own opinion on a rather controversial issue, which is a nice change from some other documentaries where opinions are already enforced on you by the directors.

Posted on by Ricky in Hot Docs

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Britpop lovin Chinaman, consumer of all things irrelevant. Toronto Raptors fan.