Scarlet Road

Impassioned about freedom of sexual expression, Australian sex worker Rachel Wotton specializes in a long overlooked clientele— people with disabilities. Working in New South Wales—where prostitution is legal— Rachel’s philosophy is that human touch and sexual intimacy can be the most therapeutic aspects to our existence. Indeed, she is making a dramatic impact on the lives of her customers, many of whom are confined to wheelchairs or cannot speak or move unaided. Through her graduate studies and her nonprofit group Touching Base, Rachel both fights for the rights of sex workers and promotes awareness and access to sexual expression for the disabled through sex work—and brings together these two often marginalized groups. We follow her from conducting sex and disability workshops to speaking to the World Congress on Sexual Health about her mission to observing her overnight stays with severely disabled clients who blossom under her attention—with one man even gaining back lost movement and sensation thanks to his time spent with her. Rachel has made it her life’s work to end the stigma surrounding these populations; the depth, humor and passion in this positive and pro-active documentary will transform the way we see sex workers and people with disabilities forever.
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Orchids: My Intersex Adventure

Gen X filmmaker Phoebe Hart always knew she was different growing up – but she didn’t know why. This award-winning documentary traces Phoebe’s voyage of self-discovery as an intersex person, a group of conditions formerly termed hermaphroditism. Learning only in her teens that she was born with 46XY (male) chromosomes, Hart now seeks to understand her own story and the stories of others affected by this complex and often shameful syndrome. With help from sister Bonnie (born with the same condition) and support from partner James, Hart drives across Australia, interviewing individuals whose struggles and victories mirror and differ from her own. Some advocate systemic change ending shame and controversial genital surgeries, while others debate coming out or staying closeted with a stigmatized secret. Questioning rigidly defined constructs of gender, sexuality, and normality, often with lively good humor, ORCHIDS is the first film to look at intersex from a positive perspective. Its engaging portrait of survival, courage and reconciliation will speak to a variety of audiences and spark lively discussion about what it means to be perceived as "different."
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Searching 4 Sandeep

Single, frustrated, and lonely in the middle of Sydney’s thriving gay community, director Poppy Stockell decides to “research” a light-hearted look at the lesbian Internet-dating scene. To her surprise and delight, she forges a deep online connection with an English woman, Sandeep Virdi. When their innocent flirtation turns into true attachment, Poppy sends Sandeep a camcorder and viewers watch as Poppy and Sandeep’s virtual relationship blooms into a poignant love complicated by the reality that Sandeep is Sikh, lives at home with her conservative family, and has kept her sexuality a secret. Humorous and thoughtful, Searching 4 Sandeep explores the collision of love and ethnic, religious, and sexual identity. Filmmaker Stockell raises serious questions about a new kind of global romance at odds with the cultural, social, and geographical distances between people. Will Sandeep’s family overcome their homophobia? Will the star-crossed lovers surmount the obstacles separating them? Through raw, incredibly frank footage, Searching 4 Sandeep follows the couple’s tumultuous relationship across two years, and three continents, in a touching examination of sexuality, religion, globalization, and culture seen through the lens of this uniquely modern love story.
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Black and White

BLACK AND WHITE shines a sensitive light on a subject that is too often either shunned or sensationalized: the experiences of intersex people (sometimes called hermaphrodites). This beautiful and stylish film artfully explores the potent creative collaboration between Mani Bruce Mitchell and the acclaimed photographer Rebecca Swan. Portrayed through this lens, Mitchell’s story introduces viewers to notions of fluid gender identity, challenging the rigid categories of “male” and “female.” At birth Mitchell was assigned the gender “male” but when investigative surgery subsequently revealed that “he” had ovaries, “Bruce” was renamed “Ruth” and reassigned the gender “female.” BLACK AND WHITE picks up on Mitchell’s story in 2005, weaving together her unflinching yet unexpectedly humorous insights, along with Swan’s descriptions of their creative collaboration on a book about gender identity. Documenting the way Mitchell boldly expresses her own intersex identity through the medium of art, the film challenges the viewer to see Mitchell for who s/he is. Combining intimate, present-day interviews with rich archival slides, photographs and film footage, as well as playful fragments of Super-8 stop-motion animation, BLACK AND WHITE is a stunning tribute to Mitchell’s courage and fierce commitment to change.
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Love

“The clinch that signals the fade-out in so many movies is just the beginning of Love, as Moffatt and editor Hillberg turn their energetic montage technique (introduced in Artist and Lip) to the cinema’s most obvious and most multifarious subject. As it turns out, Bette Davis and the Bond girls have a lot in common. A wealth of clips, from chaste black-and-white Hollywood classics to more full-flooded fare from the ‘60s and ‘70s, show women’s love, lust, longing and revenge. Without commentary or condescension, the film remakes the age-old story of a boy and girl in love with exhilaration and irony.” -Patricia White, Associate Professor & Chair, Film and Media Studies Department of English Literature, Swarthmore College
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Georgie Girl

Meet Georgina Beyer, the latest “it” girl of New Zealand politics. A one-time sex worker of Maori descent turned public official, Georgina stunned the world in 1999 by becoming the first transgendered person to hold national office. Born George Beyer, this unlikely politician grew up on a small Tarankai farm and later became a small-time celebrity on the cabaret circuit in Auckland. With charisma, humor and charm, Beyer unapologetically recounts her fascinating life story, shares how she overcame adversity and discloses the reasons she decided to run for office in a mostly all white, conservative electorate. Incorporating an unbelievable montage of colorful archival images dug up from Georgina’s days as an exotic dancer, theatre and television performer, this absorbing documentary breaks down stereotypes and promotes greater understanding of transgendered people.
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Black Sheep

Lou Glover grew up in New South Wales repeating the same homophobic and racist taunts she heard around her. Though she was raised in a white family, she was dark-haired and dark-eyed and was often asked if she was Aboriginal--a suggestion she vehemently denied. It wasn't until she came out as a lesbian and left the racist and homophobic environment in which she was raised that she began to explore her ancestry. And that's when she uncovered the secret that her father's family had been hiding for three generations. In this upbeat film from Australia, Lou Glover tells her own story as lesbian, one-time police officer, and recently-discovered Aboriginal woman.
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Lip

It is Hollywood’s favorite role for black women: the maid. Sassy or sweet, snickeringly attentive or flippantly dismissive, the performers who play them steal every scene they are in, and Tracy Moffatt’s entertaining video collage reveals the narrow margin Hollywood has allowed black actresses to shine in. But shine they do. Giving lip is proven an art form in these scenes from 1930’s cinema to present-day movies featuring a remarkable roster of undervalued actresses and their more celebrated white costars. Moffatt and Hillberg’s rough, no-budget assembly effectively highlights with familiarity and humor the disturbing realization of how black characters and white characters still interact on screen, under Hollywood’s eternally backwards eye.
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Up in the Sky: Tracey Moffatt in New York

"UP IN THE SKY scans the universe created by the provocative and talented photographer and filmmaker Tracey Moffatt, Australia's answer to Cindy Sherman and with even more of an edge, if that's possible. An important figure in the Australian postcolonial avant-garde, Moffatt started out with visually compelling (and often disturbing) photographs and films such as NICE COLOURED GIRLS, NIGHT CRIES, and BEDEVIL that explore her own Aboriginal heritage and the complex ways that power, race and gender intersect, often violently, in everyday life. More recently, her work draws on sources as diverse as Pasolini and Mad Max films, or Victorian photography. Jane Cole's documentary is an insightful portrait of Moffatt and her work, and an invaluable framework for anyone interested in the work of this cutting edge artist." Faye Ginsburg, Director, The Center for Media, Culture, and History, New York University
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Heaven

This playful film from famed director and photographer Tracey Moffatt turns the tables on traditional representations of desire to examine the power of the female gaze in the objectification of men’s bodies. HEAVEN begins with surreptitiously filmed documentary footage of brawny surfers changing in and out of bathing and wet-suits. While the soundtrack switches between the ocean surf and male chanting, Moffatt moves closer to alternately flirt with and tease her subjects, who respond with a combination of preening and macho reticence. This witty piece is a potent and hilarious meditation on cinematic and everyday sex roles, voyeurism, power, and the thin line between admiration and invasiveness.
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Bedevil

BEDEVIL is the stunning debut feature from Tracey Moffatt (NIGHT CRIES, NICE COLORED GIRLS) and the first feature directed by an Australian Aboriginal woman. Inspired by ghost stories she heard as a child from both her extended Aboriginal and Irish Australian families, Tracey Moffatt has constructed a sublime trilogy in which characters are haunted by the past and bewitched by memories. All three stories are set in Moffatt’s highly stylized, hyper-real, hyper-imaginary Australian landscape. In the first story MISTER CHUCK, a young boy is fascinated and terrified by a swamp that is haunted by the ghost of an American GI. CHOO CHOO CHOO CHOO finds a family living by railroad tracks haunted by strange happenings. The mother (played by Moffatt) is drawn to the tracks at night as she senses the horror of a past tragedy. The final story, LOVIN’ THE SPIN I'M IN, follows a woman who resists eviction attempts by her landlord so she can keep vigil for her dead son. Made with the participation of the Australian Film Finance Corporation. "BEDEVIL captures the allusive quality of parochial, local, familial ghost stories, the sort of stories that are passed down through generations, that are repeated and embroidered upon so that eventually they are woven into quotidian discourse and a passing reference can evoke a complex texture of ghostliness.” — Lesley Stern, Photofile
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The Audition

The filmmaker's sister, Jane Campion, journeys home to New Zealand to audition her onetime actress mother for a small role as a schoolteacher in her film adaptation of Janet Frame's autobiographies, AN ANGEL AT MY TABLE. The mother is somewhat resistant to the role, the camera and what she perceives as her daughter's manipulation. The daughter has her own resistance-to her mother's dark vision of the world. This deceptively simple drama, filmed with elegance and restraint, reveals nuances of mother/daughter roles while challenging the realist aesthetic.
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Night Cries

On an isolated, surreal Australian homestead, a middle-aged Aboriginal woman nurses her dying white mother. The adopted daughter’s attentive gestures mask an almost palpable hostility. Their story alludes to the assimilation policy that forced Aboriginal children to be raised in white families. The stark, sensual drama unfolds without dialogue against vivid painted sets as the smooth crooning of an Aboriginal Christian singer provides ironic counterpoint. Moffatt’s first 35mm film displays rare visual assurance and emotional power.
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Snakes and Ladders

Like our own children’s game, Chutes and Ladders, the story of women’s education has always been one step forward, two steps back. In this creative documentary, a fictional woman detective acts as our guide to the history of women’s education in Australia, one surprisingly like our own. Featuring interviews with ten women (including Anne Summers, the editor of MS. Magazine) aged sixteen to ninety-four, SNAKES AND LADDERS combines personal memories with historical detail, analyses and clever animated sequences to begin to fill in a missing story of women’s determination and vision. A significant addition to curricula in Women’s Studies, History and Education.
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Nice Colored Girls

This stylistically daring film audaciously explores the history of exploitation between white men and Aboriginal women, juxtaposing the “first encounter” between colonizers and native women with the attempts of modern urban Aboriginal women to reverse their fortunes. Through counterpoint of sound, image, and printed text, the film conveys the perspective of Aboriginal women while acknowledging that oppression and enforced silence still shape their consciousness.
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Passionless Moments

A series of wry vignettes: SEAN AND ARNOLD NOT SPEAKING; SCOTTIES, PART OF THE GRAND DESIGN OF THE UNIVERSE; ANGELA EATS MEATS, IRONING ON SUNDAY, and others...
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