Buying Sex

Watch Buying Sex

  • 2013
  • 1 hr 15 min
  • 5.5  (200)

Buying Sex is a documentary film released in 2013 that takes a closer look at the legal and social implications of prostitution in various Canadian cities. The film is directed by Teresa MacInnes and Kent Nason and features interviews with sex workers, academics, activists, and law enforcement officers. The movie presents diverse perspectives on the issue and seeks to create an informed dialogue rather than to take a specific stand.

The film opens with a brief history of prostitution in Canada and the laws governing it. The film highlights that prostitution is not illegal in Canada, but related activities, such as soliciting, procuring, and living on prostitution earnings, are. However, it is also emphasized that these laws have been inconsistently enforced which has led to the exploitation of sex workers. The film explores this topic through the personal stories of several sex workers who have had negative experiences with law enforcement and healthcare providers. The stories offer a human perspective on the issue and reveal the challenges and dangers that sex workers face daily.

The documentary also features interviews with several academics and legal experts who provide insights into the current legal framework and its shortcomings. The speakers explain that many of the current laws have been challenged in courts on the grounds of infringing on sex workers' rights, particularly their right to safety. The film shows that while many stakeholders, including sex workers, agree that something needs to be done to improve the situation, there is no consensus on what the best solution is. The speakers also discuss the impact that new and emerging trends, such as online prostitution and sex trafficking, are having on the industry and how the laws need to adapt to these changes.

Another important theme in the film is the role of activism and advocacy in bringing about change. The documentary features interviews with several activists and advocates, including Trisha Baptie, who runs an outreach program for women leaving sex work. These activists argue that the only way to improve the lives of sex workers is to remove the stigma associated with the profession and work towards decriminalization. They also address the common stereotypes that exist about sex workers, including the notion that they are making a free and informed choice to engage in prostitution.

The documentary is successful is capturing the complexities of the issue and how it is perceived by different stakeholders. The movie is not a simple advocacy piece, but rather invites viewers to critically engage with the issue and consider different perspectives. The sections on the personal stories of sex workers are particularly powerful, as they offer an insight into the lives of those who are directly impacted by the issue. The documentary not only looks at the harm that sex workers face but also at the harm that can come to society when prostitution is stigmatized and criminalized.

One of the issues with the documentary is that it tends to be quite dense at times and assumes a certain amount of prior knowledge about the topic. It may be difficult for viewers who have no background understanding about the legal and social implications of prostitution to fully appreciate the insights that are presented. On the other hand, it avoids dumbing things down or resorting to sensationalism and instead offers a thoughtful and nuanced account of this important issue.

Overall, Buying Sex is an important documentary that explores the complexities of prostitution in Canada. It is not only informative but also provides a platform for dialogue and reflection on a critical issue that has real-world impacts on people's lives. The film is recommended for anyone interested in social justice, sex work, and the legal system.

Buying Sex is a 2013 documentary with a runtime of 1 hour and 15 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.5.

Where to Watch Buying Sex
Buying Sex is available to watch free on Plex, Pluto TV and Kanopy. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV, Amazon and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Buying Sex for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • Runtime
    1 hr 15 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    5.5  (200)