SXSW Film

Daily reviews and interviews

The Canal Street Madam

Documentary Feature, Documentary Competition
D: Cameron Yates; with Jeanette Maier

Maier is a complicated figure: On the one hand, she seems to bear as a badge of honor the fact that she was once a successful brothel owner, even thriving on the attention her infamous, widely publicized bust garnered despite the fact that it effectively ruined her life. On the other hand, she is keenly aware of the fact that in many ways she has been victimized by the same good-old-boy network that used to come to her to have their carnal needs met. The Canal Street Madam catches up with Maier as she attempts to put her life back together after a felony conviction – no easy feat in a system that shunts convicts into a cycle of failure. Alternating between scenes of heartbreaking degradation and uplifting, hopeful moments of speaking truth to power, this documentary serves to remind us that, for some women, feminism is a luxury and that even survival is a stacked deck.


Friday, March 19, 2pm, Lamar 3

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