Documentary look at the 1996-97 effort of the dancers and support staff at a San Francisco peep show, The Lusty Lady, to unionize. Angered by arbitrary and race-based wage policies, ...
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Documentary look at the 1996-97 effort of the dancers and support staff at a San Francisco peep show, The Lusty Lady, to unionize. Angered by arbitrary and race-based wage policies, customers' surreptitious video cameras, and no paid sick days or holidays, the dancers get help from the Service Employees International local and enter protracted bargaining with the union-busting law firm that management hires. We see the women work, sort out their demands, and go through the difficulties of bargaining. The narrator is Julia Query, a dancer and stand-up comedian who is reluctant to tell her mother, a physician who works with prostitutes, that she strips.Written by
For Strippers Only
Written by Bill Grundy, Morris Levy and Sonny Lester
Performed by Sonny Lester and his Orchestra
Courtesy of Rhino/EMI Longitude Music Co.
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products See more »
This film relates the efforts of "exotic dancers" at a San Francisco establishment called The Lusty Lady to organize a labor union and improve their working conditions.
The narrator and central character is Julia Query, a feminist, Jewish, lesbian, stand-up comic, who turned to stripping to make ends meet. The film relates the conditions the strippers worked under, how they decided to organize the union and negotiated their first contract. The club apparently engaged in arbitrary and discriminatory practices, for example, classifying the dancers by race, hair color and other physical attributes.
Negotiating the first contract took many months and the film shows the agony of making decisions on what was and was not negotiable.
On the one hand the dancers do have legitimate grievances, on the other the work they do is sleazy and some would say antisocial and not to be encouraged. While their working conditions are not ideal, they are not coal miners or migrant workers. Compared to some other jobs, strippers have it pretty easy.
Another plot line of the film is Julia's relationship with her mother. Her mother is a physician in New York, who as it happens, works with prostitutes. Julia has not told her mother what she does for a living. When Julia is asked to speak at a conference on the "sex industry" she discovers her mother will also be at the conference and she can no longer put off revealing her occupation to her mother. Needless to say, her mother is not at all pleased and the two become estranged for some months.
The film has moments of humor and drama. The production values are amateurish, in some scenes the color is off (although that could have been due to the poor quality of the print). The film contain adult language and nudity.
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