Prostitution has too often been used as a metaphor for capitalism, when it would be more suitably applied to the rich and powerful of any political persuasion. Dominique Strauss-Kahn was the head of the IMF and the socialist candidate for the presidency of France. He was also a dyed-in -the-wool whore fucker and rapist, who attacked a hotel maid when he ran out of whores. Like Argentine president Christina Fernandez de Kirchner,who was likely the culprit behind the murder of prosecutor Alberto Nisman to prevent him from testifying against her alleged complicity in the cover-up of the involvement of Iranian officials in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish center in Buenos Aires, charges against Strauss-Kahn were dismissed. Justice is lucky to have film directors like Abel Ferrara to bring the actions of this scumsucking piece of shit to the attention of a world that is blind to the actions of their ruling classes.
“Welcome to New York” begins with actor Gerard Depardieu explaining that he accepted the role of Dominique Strauss-Kahn because he hated the man. After thirty minutes, I hated him too. This pig oozes from room to room, flanked by battalians of prostitutes who submit to his every whim until he loses consciousness. When he awakes and there is no whore in sight, he forces himself on the unwilling maid, who presses charges but is ultimately discredited as an unreliable witness. This is the danger of legalized prostitution. It creates a class of men who see all women as prostitutes upon whom they can unleash any sick impulse while not compromising their own self-image. It reminds me of the DEA agents from the US who were penalized with two-day suspensions when they got caught participating in sex orgies hosted by the drug cartels they had been employed to bust.
I also think of Bill Clinton, who turned the white house into his private Playboy mansion. You know that Monica Lewinsky event was only the tip of the iceberg in this fellatio-crazed maniac’s administration. It is not unusual. Why do you think men want absolute power, if not to screw everything in sight with diplomatic impunity? And for those blind-ass democrats who might cringe at the suggestion that Clinton’s behavior disgraced the office he held, let me add that I was not blind to the under-the-table footsie-playing of George W. Bush with Condoleezza Rice.
Abel Ferrara threatens to sue IFC Films over 17 minutes of cuts they have made to the US version of his film, and Strauss-Kahn threatens to sue Ferrara for defamation of character. What about Nafissatatou Diallo, whose blouse was stained with semen matching Strauss-Kahn’s DNA, yet was defamed by the court that ruled her testimony was unsupported by facts? Well, she settled for an undisclosed amount of money in a civil suit, which degrades her to the level of a prostitute by implying that being paid off justified the crime. Ferrara is a brave film-maker who has imposed the punishment of revelation upon this pig who commits his vile acts in secret. It is a light sentence for a beast who deserves to rot in a prison dungeon, but it is a punishment nonetheless.
From “Driller Killer” and “Ms. 45” to “Bad Lieutenant,” Abel Ferrara has made some of the scuzziest movies in history, but there was always a moral insight into his characters through which they were partially redeemed. There is no redemption in “Welcome to New York,” only judgement and condemnation. Ferrara reminds me of a line in Bob Dylan’s song for Lenny Bruce, in which he sings ” he just took the folks in high places and shined a light in their beds.” That pretty much sums up what Ferrara is doing here. And in the end, I think of the final line of “The Roaring Twenties,” with James Cagney lying dead on the stairs. He is cradled by his girl, who is asked by a passerby who the dead man is. “He used to be a big shot,” she answers. At the end of Ferrara’s film, Strauss-Khan is still living. But anybody who has seen “The Sixth Sense” knows there are plenty of dead people who are still walking around, acting like regular living people, who only see what they want to see, and don’t know they are dead.