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Watching You Watching Us...

Since the dawn of cinema, sex workers have served as muses to movie-makers. From turn of the century white slavery pictures (The Girl who went Astray, 1900), to iconic rom-coms (Pretty Woman, 1990), to indie hits (Tangerine, 2015), hookers, hustlers, call girls, street walkers, strippers and dommes have been staples of the silver screen.


Cinematic sex workers are punchlines, cautionary tales or fantasy figures. They are brutalized, killed off, sometimes rescued and almost always represented as if no sex worker is in theater. 


Even in documentary films such as Born In Brothels (2004) or Tricked (2013), reality is distorted by filmmakers (almost always non-sex workers), who are determined to show trauma, violence and pathos rather than the resilience, successes, and thriving communities that are the norm for many sex workers.  


Whores on Film brings sex workers to the theater.


With equal parts historical overview, critique, and homage, The Celuloid Bordello lets real life dommes, escorts, porn stars and hustlers tell you which films they love and which they hate, which get it right and which miss the mark and, most importantly, how perpetuating stereotypes in media affects real peoples' lives.

List of Films in The Celluloid Bordello

Featured in Hustler - June 2023

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