RWM 2021: Our Review of ‘Anny’

Posted in Festival Coverage, Movies by - October 28, 2021
RWM 2021: Our Review of ‘Anny’

Anny, the titular subject in a documentary selection in this year’s Rendezvous with Madness Festival, is a Czech woman. She wears a blouse that seems out of date even in the mid-90s when the Anny started filming her. She’s also holding a deep pink lipstick, telling the camera that she “must look good so the German doesn’t think badly of Czech girls. She seems like a typical woman in her forties, or anyone who wants to impress a date, but this is obviously different. She’s a sex worker, entering the industry just during the beginning of the documentary’s scope. By then she’s had a standard that is both arbitrary and high. And she juggles the line of work with a general sense of depression that comes with being a grandmother to a boy with diabetes. Adding to the depression is the inherent loneliness and searching for work on the streets.

Yes, the documentary covers three decades of Anny’s life but there are sometimes when it feels slight. There’s also a segment that captures her during the 2000s where she and everything else looks stretched out. I’m not even sure if the director can technology or access to it but there are ways to change aspect ratios in films. Changing that from full screen to wide is less jarring than seeing images stretched out. Nonetheless, the film captures the tenuous nature of sex work, and that tenuous nature doesn’t always have to be negative. Some years she does street work. At others, she does public appearances as part of the Czech Republic’s Risk Free Pleasure organization. They advocate the safety of sex workers, raising awareness when they die younger than the average person. It also reflects her philosophy on street work and taking the stigma out of it which feels refreshing.

Watch Anny here.

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While Paolo Kagaoan is not taking long walks in shrubbed areas, he occasionally watch movies and write about them. His credentials are as follows: he has a double major in English and Art History. This means that, for example, he will gush at the art direction in the Amityville house and will want to live there, which is a terrible idea because that house has ghosts. Follow him @paolokagaoan on Instagram but not while you're working.
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