The documentary film, Les Crimiellis, by Quebec film maker Jean-Claude Lord, which was first introduced at the Abitibi-Témiscamingue International Film Festival in October 2012, opened Friday in Montreal, playing in French at Quartier Latin and Cinema Beaubien, Here is the film trailer:
The film features interviews with various Montreal sex workers, including strippers who work at Kingdom, as well as escorts, erotic masseuses, a street worker, a tantric goddess, personnel at Stella, a sexologist and others. The documentary asks several questions: Why is sex for money illegal when sex in return for a meal at an expensive restaurant or a trip is perfectly acceptable? Why is nudity so offensive to so many people when portrayal of graphic violence is perfectly acceptable? What are the consequences for society of such hypocrisy?
The film argues against the stigmatization and criminalization of sex work and deals extensively with the fact that a good part of the demonization of sex work is spearheaded by feminist groups. The film points out that the laws against prostitution were written by men and date back to a time when women did not have full right rights, could not vote, and were not considered as full citizens. The film goes on to to highlight the fact that, ironically, today it is feminists who are in the forefront of the fight against prostitution, and that feminists who refuse to accept the fact that there are sex workers who have chosen their profession of their own free will, are essentially portraying these women as infantile, immature and incapable of making the right choices on their own, which is not much different from how men viewed women before the birth of feminism. The film makes mention of radical feminist groups who campaign for the abolition of sex work by shaming and humiliating sex workers in an attempt to get them to leave the profession, and compares the actions of these radical feminist groups to the witch hunts of the 18th century.
The film deals with the consequences of the stigmatization and criminalization of sex work in terms of compromising the safety of sex workers and the impact it has on their lives in general. The film is well worth seeing.