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The Canal Street Madam2010

  • 3.6
Until an FBI bust upended her life, Jeanette Maier was a successful New Orleans madam. Her discreet clientele included a number of powerful, high-ranking politicians. The ensuing very public trial, both in the courtroom and in the media, focused salaciously on the fact that Jeanette's brothel was a family affair: Jeanette ran the business with her mother and she employed her own daughter as an escort. Jeanette and her family ended up infamous, their futures blighted by felony convictions, yet their well-connected clients escaped exposure. Now, THE CANAL STREET MADAM sets out to reinvent herself, to reclaim her public persona, and to protect her family as she fights back against a system that silences the powerless and protects the elite. This documentary offers a first person, intimate view of lives rarely seen on their own terms. It reveals the cost of public exposure and how unequal enforcement of the law plays out. THE CANAL STREET MADAM becomes a behind-the-scenes indictment of hypocritical politicians, the challenges of single parenthood, and the lack of protection for women whom society relegates to an underclass, yet who service society's most powerful.

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2 members like this review

A friend had this on Netflix about 4 years ago (2010) since I was visiting, I watched about 15-20 of this documentary and was fascinated, unfortunately my friend wanted me to watch something that had more of an action theme. I like action movies ,I just really wanted to finish watching this. I felt kinda bad for Theresa and her family. I know we all have the right to choose how we'll live and conduct are selves in the world and society ,however upbringing and circumstances do play a big part as well. Sometimes a person chooses wrong when they don't feel they can do better. It is really sometimes neither as black and white grey areas abound in many of our lives. We just have to do the best we can and hope we don't hurt ourselves or others unnecessarily I guess.

Member Reviews (6)

A friend had this on Netflix about 4 years ago (2010) since I was visiting, I watched about 15-20 of this documentary and was fascinated, unfortunately my friend wanted me to watch something that had more of an action theme. I like action movies ,I just really wanted to finish watching this. I felt kinda bad for Theresa and her family. I know we all have the right to choose how we'll live and conduct are selves in the world and society ,however upbringing and circumstances do play a big part as well. Sometimes a person chooses wrong when they don't feel they can do better. It is really sometimes neither as black and white grey areas abound in many of our lives. We just have to do the best we can and hope we don't hurt ourselves or others unnecessarily I guess.

2 members like this review
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top reviewer

Fascinating. Jeanette is so articulate - enjoyed listening to her tell the story of her life and her family. Learned a lot from this film.

1 member likes this review
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top reviewer

Interesting piece. An un-rushed pace, Yates lets us get to know this woman and her family on their terms.

1 member likes this review
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top reviewer

A documentary takes us behind the scenes, exposes facts, people families, lives. The film captured my attention and my sympathy. I'd like to see each of us, madam, client, public, common folks, - all of us, to consider taking the Hippocratic oath: "First, do no harm." Some like throw over the fence and run away, doing damage from afar. Others are quick to criticize the "others" who do not meet our standards. Many take refuge in the various groups and groupings of religion and politics, taking comfort that we are the righteous and those who transgress OUR rules and laws are the bad ones, the ones from the other side of the tracks. This film looks at many wrongs. It is not at all clear to me who the "wronged" really are. Some just say "I have learned how to play the game", and if they are successful, we condemn them for it. This film has helped me to look around and try to suspend my judgement of others. I'd vote for Jeanette any day. I think she is a successful person.

1 member likes this review

opie and anthony [fans] were an utter embarrassment and i'm sorry to Jeanette Maier on behalf of new york city

1 member likes this review

This was frustrating to watch only because I felt like, in 2015, I had an idea how the "madam" would be treated what with Eliot Spitzer being given a TV news show after exploiting and using the very women (girls) he prosecuted and treated like slaves, and he is just one of the more recent examples of the double standard we apply. I'm grateful for this doc and that the subject is so thoughtful and articulate. Hopefully she will help change peoples' perceptions of what sex and power and all that is about.