Lizzie Borden

Working Girls

Working Girls

Sex work is portrayed with radical nonjudgment in Lizzie Borden’s immersive, richly detailed look at the rhythms and rituals of society’s most stigmatized profession. Inspired by the experiences of the sex workers Borden met while making her underground feminist landmark Born in Flames, Working Girls reveals the textures of a day in the life of Molly (Louise Smith), a photographer working part-time in a Manhattan brothel, as she juggles a steady stream of clients, balances nurturing relationships with her coworkers with the demands of an ambitious madam, and above all fights to maintain her sense of self in a business in which the line between the personal and the professional is all too easily blurred. In viewing prostitution through the lens of labor, Borden boldly desensationalizes the subject, offering an empathetic, humanizing, often humorous depiction of women for whom this work is just another day at the office.

Film Info

  • United States
  • 1986
  • 93 minutes
  • Color
  • 1.66:1
  • English
  • Spine #1087

DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES

  • New, restored 4K digital transfer, supervised by director Lizzie Borden, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Audio commentary from 2007 featuring Borden, director of photography Judy Irola, and actor Amanda Goodwin
  • New conversation between Borden and filmmaker Bette Gordon
  • New conversation with Goodwin, actor Louise Smith, producer Andi Gladstone, and assistant director Vicky Funari
  • New conversation with sex workers Antonia Crane, Daphne, Selena the Stripper, and Jo Weldon
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • PLUS: An essay by author So Mayer and excerpts from a 1987 interview with Borden by film critic Scott MacDonald

    Photography by Nan Goldin

Purchase Options

Special Features

  • New, restored 4K digital transfer, supervised by director Lizzie Borden, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Audio commentary from 2007 featuring Borden, director of photography Judy Irola, and actor Amanda Goodwin
  • New conversation between Borden and filmmaker Bette Gordon
  • New conversation with Goodwin, actor Louise Smith, producer Andi Gladstone, and assistant director Vicky Funari
  • New conversation with sex workers Antonia Crane, Daphne, Selena the Stripper, and Jo Weldon
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • PLUS: An essay by author So Mayer and excerpts from a 1987 interview with Borden by film critic Scott MacDonald

    Photography by Nan Goldin
Working Girls
Cast
Louise Smith
Molly
Ellen McElduff
Lucy
Amanda Goodwin
Dawn
Marusia Zach
Gina
Janne Peters
April
Helen Nicholas
Mary
Credits
Director
Lizzie Borden
Produced by
Lizzie Borden
Andi Gladstone
Story by
Lizzie Borden
Screenplay by
Lizzie Borden
Sandra Kay
Director of photography
Judy Irola
Lighting designer
Larry Banks
Production designer
Kurt Ossenfort
Sound by
J. T. Takagi
Music producer
Roma Baran
Music score by
David Van Tieghem
Vocals by
Adele Bertei

Current

Working Girls: Have You Ever Heard of Surplus Value?
Working Girls: Have You Ever Heard of Surplus Value?

Lizzie Borden’s groundbreaking drama scrutinizes the gender and labor relations that structure brothel-based sex work.

By So Mayer