Rebellion in the Brothel – Trafficking in Women around 1900

German with English subtitle
1 x 52 min
Available worldwide except for Germany and France

Vienna, 1902. Marie König escapes her abusive father but soon finds herself working in a brothel. Lured by promises of a life of luxury, she is instead subjected to violence and exploitation. She confides in the journalist Emil Bader, who exposes the dire conditions in the brothel and takes the owner, Regine Riehl, to court. The public are confronted with the reality of prostitution for the first time, sparking vigorous debate about the issue across Europe. Now, director Stefan Ludwig reconstructs the drama of the Riehl trial of 1906 with the help of an exceptional cast. At the time, many European women were forced to work in brothels as far away as Brazil and Argentina and were stereotyped as “loose women” or victims. Over time, a more nuanced view has emerged: as the historian Nancy Wingfield makes clear in this compelling documentary, many women rebelled and actively fought to improve their circumstances – just like Marie König did.

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