This graphic documentary by Brent Owens, creator of Pimps Up. Ho's Down (which aired originally on HBO as part of the America Under Cover series) offers a shocking view of the stunted lives of streetwalkers. Like Michael Apted's 28/UP and 35/UP, Owens films the same group of people — in this case, South Bronx prostitutes — several years apart; the first segment, Hookers at the Point was shot in the early '90s and the second, Going Out Agai at the the end of the decade. Angel, whose nickname is "Schoolteacher," makes no apologies for her heroin habit or the way she faces "The Life" with the aid of her pimp-husband. Though Cindy had a responsible nursing job, she started hooking on weekends at Hunts' Point to get quick cash to support her smack habit. The Catch-22 is that shooting up makes prostitution easier, but you've got to keep selling yourself to finance your high. Several years pass, and the documentary filmmaker discovers that Angel and Cindy are no longer cheerleaders for the world's oldest profession. Angel loses her spouse/protector to a jail stretch; Cindy keeps postponing her retirement. Moreover, younger whores are cramping their style. Some, like Brenda, are tough enough to become pimps; others are single mothers with no use for men. Contemptuous of all other women as well, these ladies of the night dismiss married women as glorified prostitutes with steady Johns. The new breed may no longer be victimized by men, but despite their clear-eyed assessment of their turf they remain enslaved by their drug habits. What begins as a kick becomes an addiction — both to dope and sexual power — that can't be easily kicked. Prurient viewers get their money's worth, but the film's sharpest insights stem from girl talk at an after-hours coffee shop. Though the shadow of exploitation hangs over the very idea of this project, Owens's interviews ultimately humanize these women, who are generally abused or ignored by mainstream society. The film is available in both R-rated and unrated versions.
Cast & Details See all »
- Released: 2002
- Rating: R
- Review: This graphic documentary by Brent Owens, creator of Pimps Up. Ho's Down (which aired originally on HBO as part of the America Under Cover series) offers a shocking view of the stunted lives of streetwalkers. Like Michael Apted's 28/UP and 35/UP, Owens film… (more)