Michael Glawogger, the Austrian filmmaker known for globe-trotting documentaries that show people grappling with horrendous circumstances, died on Wednesday April 23 in Liberia, where he was preparing his next movie.
Glawogger, whose oeuvre includes his documentary trilogy exploring the world of work — Workingman’s Death, Megacities and Whores’ Glory — as well as dramas such as Slumming and Kill Daddy Good Night apparently died in Liberia after contracting Malaria.
In much of his work, particularly his documentaries, Michael Glawogger examined the impact of modernization and globalization on the working poor in developing countries.
Michael Glawogger has certainly challenged the confines of what is typically considered documentary filmmaking by adopting different cinematic forms and including certain staging devices. Notably, it was the extreme conditions and themes within his films (prostitution, poverty, beyond poor working conditions) as well as his beautifully cinematic treatment of those themes that truly separated Glawogger from the average documentary filmmaker.
In the 2011 film Whore’s Glory, Michael Glawogger documented prostitutes’ lives in three countries. The movie begins in Bangkok, where prostitutes punch a time clock in a brothel called the Fishtank and line up on one side of a plate-glass window so customers can select them by number. At the City of Joy, a brothel housing 600 to 800 women in Faridpur, Bangladesh, the going rate is $2.40, but one customer is shown bargaining a prostitute down to 60 cents.
Michael Glawogger about his documentary Whores Glory, Music: Maike Rosa Vogel featuring Konstantitn Groper //
‘Where we meet’ ( Whores Glory Poem)
“Glawogger was one of the most prominent feature and documentary filmmakers that Austria has every produced,” wrote Austrian producer Danny Krausz (Sunshine) on behalf of Film and Music Austria in tribute to the late director.