Night Shift

Night Shift


Reviewed by: Andrew Robertson

Anne Wallace had a dream. A dream of a double decker bus, and empty shoes. God spoke to her. He said "these are my children's shoes, and you will help me fill them".

Director Ruth Reid's documentary was in part born of an urge to "make a film about prostitution that wasn't unremittingly grim," that was "about the women and not the victims". Night Shift is succesful in that.

The Ministry of Salt and Light operates in Glasgow, and even as a native it surprises just how distant and isolating the city can look; high flats in the distance, the motorway cutting straight through.

Anne's bus is an aid kitchen, its upstairs a safe space. The women talk, fragments of incomplete stories, slices of lives: "I was looking for love in all the wrong places"; "I became promiscuous"; "I never told anyone until I was 40".

There is laughter too, and intimacy, friendship and love and bonds of survival and religion. An ambient electronic soundtrack (Ben Frost's Theory Of Machines does a lot to create that sense of distance from the city itself, while Reid's eye keeps us close to Anne and the women - a moment backstage, a concerned look, a chill night. Anne is genuine in her concern, in her belief, and the film has sufficient tact and poise to let its subject speak for herself. That some of the women are subtitled is hopefully more to do with the vagaries of live sound than prospective difficulty with their accents, but it's easily forgiven - as they are so often denied a voice and otherwise marginalised, any step towards greater understanding is forgiveable. This is powerful stuff, undeniably moving, and worth seeking out.

Reviewed on: 13 Feb 2012
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A documentary about a woman who uses a double decker bus to help sex workers on the streets of Glasgow.
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Director: Ruth Reid

Starring: Anne Wallace

Year: 2011

Runtime: 9 minutes

Country: UK


Glasgow 2012

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