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Live Nude Girls Unite!

Vicky Funari & Julia Query / États-Unis / 2000 / 75 ' / Anglais

Credits

Vicky Funari & Heidi Rahlmann Plumb
Julia Query & Vicky Funari
Julia Query, John Montoya, Sarah Kennedy & Vicky Funari
Allison Hennessy and Kali with Alex Kort Blaise Smith and Dale Everingham Khayree Shaheed
Julia Query, John Montoya, Gini Reticker, Sarah Kennedy, Avilla Peterson, Inka Petersen, CJ Roessler & Marisa Soghoian
Original Artwork by Isis Rodriguez

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A funny and moving doc about the first stripper's union in the US

Synopsis

A documentary about strippers unionizing This first person documentary follows Julia Query, lesbian/stand-up comedian/peepshow-stripper, and daughter of a feminist activist, on her raucous journey to help organize the only union of strippers in the United States. Shot on a variety of formats, Live Nude Girls Unite! weaves backstage and dancing footage with labor organizing, street protests, stand-up comedy and comic-book style "animation" making an intelligent and dramatic cutting-edge film. Needing a job to support her comedy habit, Julia finds that the most lucrative work available to her is as an exotic dancer at San Francisco's notorious Lusty Lady Theater. Never shy about her body, she decides to give it a go. She finds a world full of tough, iconoclastic, independent and joyful women whom she quickly comes to love. But Julia learns that these powerful women are outraged at being exploited by club owners. The women complain of newly instituted stage fees which make dancers pay to work; of being asked to "date" the owners' friends, and of work that is becoming less like performing and more like prostitution every year. When dancers discover that they are being covertly videotaped for amateur porn, they decide that enough is enough. Julia and her colleagues head for the Service Employees International Union. Management responds by hiring a notorious anti-union law firm. So begins a battle that rocks the sex industry with street protests, lock-outs, and confrontations. Then Julia gets a call from the producers of the First International Conference on Prostitution inviting her to both present about the union and perform her comedy routine. After accepting the invitation, Julia discovers that her mother, Dr. Joyce Wallace, well-known for her pioneering work with prostitutes and AIDS, is also scheduled to present at the conference. In an amazing and painful "coming out" sequence, Julia reveals to her mother that she is a sex-worker fighting to help sex workers, similar to her mother's efforts to save street-working prostitutes. But Julia's mother sees them as on the opposite sides of the sex war debates that have rocked the feminist movement for decades. While Dr. Wallace ardently speaks about the victimization of the women she helps, an equally impassioned Julia jokes that as a professional dominatrix she is working for social justice. But Julia's joking around barely covers up the cracks occurring in the world around her. The union drive is far more difficult and complicated than imagined, spirits are low, and her mother, furious at Julia not only for being a stripper, but also for tainting her professional reputation with the stigma of a sex-worker daughter, is not speaking to her. Live Nude Girls UNITE! brings the parallel stories of unionizing and Julia's relationship with her mother through to their poignant resolution.