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HEIDI FLEISS: HOLLYWOOD MADAM

USA, 1995 (MIFF 1996, Documenta)

Director: Nick Broomfield

When Heidi Fleiss was arrested in 1993 Hollywood was- terrified that she would reveal a list of star clients and set the town ablaze with gossip and scandal British documentary director par excellence, and MIFF regular. Nick Broomfield (Aileen Wuornos: The Selling Of A Serial Killer-MIFF 1994) probes the Fleiss facts and fictions, turning up a cast of eccentrics, low-lifes, losers and shysters—a veritable underworld Entertainment Tonight.

Broomfield continues to employ his now familiar persona of bumbling, doggedly persistent knight in search of an ever elusive truth. Making no pretence about objectivity. Broomfield's constant interaction with the people he is pursuing can irritate or intrigue but always manages to present a fascinating picture of hypocrisy and discomforting insights into the darker elements of human interaction.

Heidi Fleiss is the daughter of a wealthy Beverly Hills physician who, by the age of 17, was a heavy drug user and addicted to gambling. She had a thing for older men which led her into an abusive relationship with one Ivan Nagy, the catalyst for her future as the famous madam to the stars'

Broomfield begins by questioning why someone with Fleiss' privileged background became involved with prostitution then develops a complex narrative which probes the nature of sexuality, passion, obsession, exploitation and deception. As the film progresses the film maker and audience become more complicit in this Byzantine world.

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AILEEN WUORNOS: THE SELLING OF A SERIAL KILLER

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