This is a terrible movie. It should be labeled a 'fantasy' not documentary. Unfortunately movies like this keep feeding into the myth of human trafficking. Same as what 'pretty woman' did for perpetuating the myth that many prostitutes are angels forced into difficult situations to make money. Prostitution is not a victimless crime and prostitutes are not the victims. I won't argue human trafficking doesn't exist, or that some women are exploited, but the women walking the streets in my neighborhood in vegas are not victims. Contrary to myth, prostitution is not legal in vegas and never has been in the past 50 years. In fact in the 70s it wasn't even tolerated in nearby cities, openly. I grew up in a neighborhood in vegas close to downtown and it was a nice area. It's cliche but we didn't have the gang, drug and crime level that exists today. Drive down any block and no bars on the windows and doors; most people didn't lock their doors. I know we didn't lock our doors because we never worried home invasion or burglaries. Then the city started licensing sex oriented businesses in my area in the late 70s and within a few years the whole neighborhood flipped upside down as this part of town became known as the red light district. It might be hard for some to believe but in the late 70s vegas was a very conservative town when it came to sex. It was much like cities across the US. Reno was the same way. Reno had the mustang ranch which was probably the most famous brothel of that period. But it was 30 miles outside of reno, off a major highway, but away from any residents. So long as prostitution operated outside of reno, without a lot of negative attention the residents were fine with it. But when the sex businesses moved into my neighborhood various stores, restaurants and other businesses left, followed by the residents. The prostitutes moved in, and it was only about 10 years until it became what it is today. For over 25 years we've had prostitution operating out in the open, day and night, and along with it we've had tremendous problems with crime, drugs, vagrants, and street hustlers which the city and the county won't do anything about. So long as it stays in that part of valley, it's fine, they won't try to clean up the area. We're not alone though. Besides my neighborhood there are many other neighborhoods in vegas that have been trashed. Some of the most desirable areas to live in during the 70s are now among the most unlivable. And now we have new generations of families growing up in this area and they shouldn't have to see women engaged in prostitution so openly and flagrant. It's not the people who live here that are perpetuating the problem. Someone from the county recently told me that they don't do anything about prostitution where I live because no one complains. Well, that's probably true because local politicians and the police won't do anything and besides, I meet younger people all the time that have grown up in the area and they don't know what it was like before and so they just assume this neighborhood has always been like this, and that's just the way it's supposed to be. I have no sympathy for the women that walk the streets here. I've met them and heard their stories and many of them are no angels. They're often involved with other types of crimes besides prostitution. And the odd part is that like australia if you made the trade legal and regulated here, there would still be women (and their pimps, drug dealers and street hustlers) that wouldn't abide the law anyway. But, I don't care, make it legal, it makes no difference to me but keep it out of my neighborhood. And stop spreading messages that these women are victims. They are not the ones being victimized where I live.
Working within a broken criminal justice system, a team of rebel heroines work to change the the way women arrested for prostitution are prosecuted. With intimate camerawork that lingers on details and brings the Queens criminal courtroom to life, BLOWIN' UP celebrates acts of steadfast defiance, even as it reveals the hurdles these women must face.
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