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Prostitutes of God

We travel deep into the remote villages and towns of Southern India to uncover an ancient system of religious sex slavery dating back to the 6th century. Although the practice was made illegal more than 20 years ago, we discover there are still more than 23,000 women in the state of Karnataka selling their bodies in the name of the mysterious Hindu Goddess Yellamma. They are known as Devadasis, or ‘servants of God’. From city red light districts to rural mud huts, we meet proud brothel madams, HIV positive teenage prostitutes, and gay men in saris. Our intimate exploration into the life of the Devadasi reveals a pseudo-religious system that exploits poverty-stricken families to fuel modern India’s booming sex trade.

  • Sam

    This documentary, though objectively narrated, left a very deep impression on me. Throughout the film, we see several different examples of present-day devadasis, each with her (or his) own story. Each story struck a different chord of me. For example, Anitha and her friends seemed not so much proud as carefree about their profession. She chose to become a devadasi willingly, because she wanted to fulfill her dream of owning a house and utensils.
    Through this documentary, I learned that it’s not what other think of you that affects the way you live, but what you think of yourself. Anitha was carefree and happy because she didn’t let the ostracizing of others get to her. She stood tall, knowing that it was her own choice to become dedicated to Yellama. Pandu, also, was courageous. He stood up for his choice, against the miscreants who had mocked him.
    Though this religious practice condones child prostitution (prostitution in general), I still hesitate to condemn it. Sure, it has been corrupted over the centuries. Historical devadasis were high-status temple dancers, in stark contrast to modern-day prostituted devadasis. However, I can’t help but think that we have no right to meddle in another culture’s affairs.

    For the truth that is revealed in this documentary, I give it 5 stars.

Duration: 28:25
Country: India
Language: EN
CC available: EN
Resolution max: 1080p
Video Source: YouTube
Provided by: VICE
Published on: 2011-12-22
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Rate video
Ø Rating: 3.81