BAMPFA Student Committee Pick
Louise Smith, Amanda Goodwin, Ellen McElduff, Marusia Zach,
A day in a midtown Manhattan brothel centers on Molly, a photographer (Nan Goldin’s photographs stand in for Molly’s work) and Yale grad, who works two shifts a week at the house. Sidestepping clichéd approaches to sex work perpetuated by mainstream films—which fetishize, romanticize, and/or pathologize prostitution—Lizzie Borden matter-of-factly records the details of Molly’s day (inserting a diaphragm, conversations with coworkers, meetings with clients, and assiduously tallying her earnings). The routine banality of the tasks reveals how sex work is not so different from any other type of work. At the end of the day, the boss will always take a cut.