Abstract: The Good Woman of Bangkok is a controversial account of the Australian documentary filmmaker Dennis O'Rourke's nine-month involvement with a Thai prostitute named Yaiwalak Conchanakun, called Aoi. Modeled after Bertolt Brecht's The Good Woman of Szechuan, which uses the central figure of a prostitute to examine the possibility of living a good life in a corrupt world, O'Rourke's film explores the conjunctions of sex and money in the East meets West world of Bangkok and examines the ethical complexity of his multiple roles as client, lover and director in relation to Aoi. Although O'Rourke remains an off-camera voice throughout the film, his work is centrally concerned with his intercession into and interrogation of Aoi's life, which culminates in his offer to rescue her from prostitution by buying her and her family a rice farm. O'Rourke provocatively positions his very personal film as "documentary fiction," an antithesis of the objective documentary which rearranges chronology for dramatic effect and self-consciously examines the voyeuristic nature of filmmaking. Although the film centers on the life of Aoi, it indicates the elusive edges of a larger story about the intercultural, interracial and economic complexity of post-colonial capitalism.
Title and contributions: The Filmmaker and the prostitute : Dennis O'Rourke's The good woman of Bangkok / edited by Chris Berry, Annette Hamilton and Laleen
Publication: Sydney : Power Publications, 1997.
Physical description: 221 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.
Language: eng (language of the text, soundtrack, etc..)
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