Working Girls

Working Girls

Directed by Lizzie Borden • 1986 • United States
Starring Louise Smith, Ellen McElduff, Amanda Goodwin

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.

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Working Girls
  • Working Girls

    Directed by Lizzie Borden • 1986 • United States
    Starring Louise Smith, Ellen McElduff, Amanda Goodwin

    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 experience...

Extras

  • WORKING GIRLS Commentary

    This audio commentary by director Lizzie Borden, director of photography Judy Irola, and actor Amanda Goodwin was recorded in 2007.

  • Lizzie Borden and Bette Gordon on WORKING GIRLS

    In this 2021 conversation, recorded remotely in Los Angeles and New York, director Lizzie Borden talks with her friend the director Bette Gordon about the making of WORKING GIRLS.

  • WORKING GIRLS Production Stories

    In this 2021 conversation, actors Louise Smith and Amanda Goodwin; producer Andi Gladstone; and first assistant director Vicky Funari talk about their experiences making WORKING GIRLS. It was recorded remotely by the Criterion Collection.

  • Working Girls in Conversation

    In this 2021 conversation, recorded remotely in New York and Los Angeles, sex workers Jo Weldon, Antonia Crane, Selena the Stripper, and Daphne talk about how WORKING GIRLS reflects their experiences in the sex industry.