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“Storie di vita e malavita” tells the stories of teenage girls attracted into prostitution. Once inside, they can’t leave. If they try to run away, this can lead to beating, mutilation and even death… And the film has a documentary feel – It was shot around 1975 in Milan and many different stories are told. We see the stories from the girls’ point of view. We see them from the beginning – coming from poor backgrounds, or middle-class ones, or arriving in Milan and looking for a job. Poverty, ignorance, a repressive education and even hunger may lead them to the “teenage prostitution racket”. But there’s no organized “teenage prostitution racket” – different gangs and groups exploit this type of business – some very violent, others less so.
The film doesn’t slip into moralizing and finger-wagging (like a Hollywood movie would certainly do) and avoids the cold and “objective” look that a very politically-correct film would offer. “Storie di vita e malavita” is a passionate film, but it’s not melodramatic, it doesn’t pass any judgement, and while it titillates the viewer, it may also make him feel very angry about the situation described!
“Storie di vita e malavita” is ruthlessly realistic and engrossing, the characters feel real and have emotional depth – it is an example of how a controverted subject should be tackled. (IMDb)