Synopsis by Mark Deming
In the Central Indian community of Bachara, agriculture is no longer a reliable way to earn a living, and job opportunities are few. However, many families keep themselves afloat through a common arrangement in which the eldest daughter in the family contributes to their livelihood through prostitution. Long-haul truck drivers often pass through Bachara and provide teenage prostitutes with a regular clientele, and most of the men of the village approve of the practice, insisting that the girls are not forced to take part. However, one such call girl, Guddi Chauhan, offers a different perspective in this documentary. American filmmaker Mystelle Brabbée spent six years following Guddi as she worked as a prostitute in Bachara, and in Highway Courtesans she talks about the ugly realities of the business, the pressures from her family, the dim future faced by former sex workers in Central India, and her dreams of leaving prostitution behind for a better life. Highway Courtesans also includes interviews with members of Guddi's family, as well as her boyfriend (who is sometimes also a client).
cultural-traditions, highway, India (subcontinent), prostitute/prostitution, truckdriver