Five sexworkers – four women and one man – along with the filmmaker/narrator embark on a journey of storytelling. Tales of the Night Fairies explores the power of collective organizing and resistance while reflecting upon contemporary debates around sexwork. The labyrinthine city of Kolkata (Calcutta) forms the backdrop for personal and musical journeys. This is NOT Born into Brothels!
The film attempts to represent the struggles and aspirations of thousands of sexworkers who constitute the DMSC (Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committe or the Durbar Women’s Collaborative Committee) an initiative that emerged from the Shonagachi HIV/AIDS Intervention Project. A collective of men, women and transgendered sexworkers, DMSC demands decriminalization of adult sex work and the right to form a trade union. Tales of the Night Fairies (74-min) was completed in November 2002 and had its first public screening in January 28, 2003.
It was first screened at the AWID’s 9th International Forum on Women’s Rights and Development at Guadalajara, Mexico. Thereafter it has been screened at the Asian Film Festival in Rome where it was part of a special focus on Calcutta. It was screened at “Warning Signs” a conference of Women Living Under Muslim Laws in London and recently at Another World Festival in Hyderabad. The film continues to be screened for different institutions and groups across the country.
Also see: http://www.bayswan.org/swfest/tales.html for extensive information about the making of this work.