Tales of the Night Fairies

Tomorrow, March 3, is International Sex Workers’ Rights Day. One of the best films about sex workers I’ve ever seen is Shohini Ghosh’s Tales of the Night Fairiesa lovely and — if one can use the term — nostalgic documentary about the sex industry in Calcutta. It pursues five sex workers, four women and one kothi (an effeminate man) through their daily and nightly lives in the city’s Shonagachi red light district. It also depicts the aspirations behind the Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committe (DMSC, the Durbar Women’s Collaborative Committee) a collective struggling for the decriminalization of adult sex work and the right to form a trade union.
Shohini, the director, is a multifaceted mind and talent. Here is a clip of her in discussion with Arundhati Roy: