Work in progress: Call girl

The film festival doesn’t only show entertaining films from all around the world, but experiences just as interesting can be found at Lagerhuset’s houses. I’m not really a film aficionado but during the seminar ”Work in progress: Call girl” I was still able to follow the dialog of how (in my opinion) one of this year’s best Swedish films was made.

Call girl
premiers in October or November 2012. It’s a film which sheds some light on a brothel affair, which got a lot of attention in the 70s in Sweden.
Those of us who attended the seminar learned, from the few, but quite long film clips, that the writer and producer believably and frighteningly described the dirty story of top politicians and officials who during the 70s had fun with under aged prostitutes.
The brothel affair was uncovered in 1976, when the so called brothel madam Doris Hopp was apprehended (played by Pernilla August in the film). She was prosecuted for pimping but her customers, mostly politicians and officials got off scot-free.
What makes it resentful is that important people in some cases are above the law. No sex trade law existed in Sweden during the happy 70s, but the fact that most of the prostitutes were under the age of 18 (some were only 14) should have been taken into consideration and led to criminal proceedings.
Even back then prohibition against sex with a minor, laws about rape against children under the age of 15 and abuse of children in position of dependence existed.
Because when underage girls sell sexual services it’s not about selling sexual services but violence against children.

In Call girl we get to see how these young girls, all orphans and with different sad background stories are recruited from their juvenile halls and are tricked into a world full of luxury, vanity and – unfair sex.
The moderator asked if the girls were even aware of the kind of “work” they would do when they went there with their friends and the caring and humble madam Doris. Writer Marietta von Hausswolff von Baumgarten didn’t really have an answer.
But it doesn’t really matter that much.
When it’s about underage girls, in an exposed situation, it doesn’t matter if they agreed to an offer they didn’t fully understand or if they were tricked to agree to something else.
The girls in the film are only the 70s version of the 21th century’s young girls from Balkan, The Baltic, Asia or Africa who are lured to Europe with promises of a better life but are instead dragged into something we understand is impossible to get out of, thanks to the film Call girl.

/Matilda Reiderstedt for RealStars