Directed by: Noboru Tanaka
Actors: Meika Seri, Junko Miyashita, Genshu Hanayagi
Language: Japanese (English Subtitles)
Also known as: Confidentiel – Le marché sexuel des filles, Das älteste Gewerbe der Welt, Le marché sexuel des filles, Mystiko hroniko: Agora thylikon zoon, Secret Chronicle: She Beast Market
Having seen many films on the subject of prostitution, I can honestly say that “She Beast Market” is one of the most harrowing and bleak examinations of the subject. Sordid and sleazy, but somehow never exploitative, “Beast Market” focuses on 2 young women involved in the life of street prostitution. One girl is rather new to the scene, and therefore has retained a kind of naive innocence, while the second girl is much more jaded, and hardened by the life. One girl maintains hope that she will escape her brutal reality, while the second girl is completely resigned to this life. We also are witness to one of the most extreme cases of ‘mother/daughter’ competition, as the one girl’s mother is also a prostitute, who is quite bitter and jealous of her daughter’s youth and beauty. The two women despise each other and make no secret of the fact.
This movie covers it all; sadomasochistic johns, incest, back alley abortions, mental illness, and ultimately death for one tortured soul. The reason the production never seems exploitative is the fact that the sexual content, is so unpleasant, and the subject matter so incredibly grim..I can’t imagine anyone being titillated by what is happening on screen, even though the sex is quite graphic at times.
The most impressive thing about “Beast Market” is probably it’s starkly beautiful black & white photography, which perfectly compliments the bleak storyline and landscape. Seedy apartments, sleazy bars and shadowy alleys come to life when photographed with this gritty black & white film stock. This is also a very sad movie, and I didn’t expect to become so involved in the stories of these character. Certainly a masterpiece of it’s genre, this is a very rare and obscure title, that should be seen by any fan of art house cinema, if the opportunity comes their way. Highly recommended.