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Scarlet Road
A film by Catherine Scott, Produced by Pat Fiske
Australia, 2011, 70 minutes, Color, DVD, English
Order No. W121060
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.


  • Sydney Film Festival, World Premiere
  • SXSW, International Premiere
  • Sarasota Film Festival
  • Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Film Festival
  • Rocky Mountain Women's Film Festival
  • Dallas Video Festival
  • Hawaii International Film Festival
  • DOXA Documentary Film Festival
  • HRAFF Human Rights Arts & Film Festival
  • Salem Film Festival
  • Alexandria Film Festival
  • Reelabilities: NY Disabilities Film Festival

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    "Recommended...a caring, non-exploitative look at a serious subject."
    Video Librarian

    “[Rachel] permits the cameras in to record their most intimate moments. Their pride and pleasure makes this one of the most uplifting films you’ll see all year.”
    Jenny Neighbour
    Sydney International Film Festival

    “The film serves as an important reminder that the best way to understand the lives of sex workers and people with disabilities is to listen when these communities speak for themselves. Highly recommended for college-level courses in the fields of gender and sexuality studies and disability studies.”
    Anna E. Ward
    Gender and Sexuality Studies Program, Swarthmore College

    “It’s such a beautiful story and one which fills the viewer with a sense of greater humanity, a reminder that there are wonderful people out there doing such important work that touches so many lives. A feeling of, you know, humans are alright.”
    Digital Romance Lab

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    Scarlet Road is included in the following Special Collections.
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WMM offers film collections on a variety of specific subject areas, including the collections VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN: Ending the Silence, BODY IMAGE, and AFRICAN-AMERICAN: Celebrate the Lives of African-American Women.

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Women Make Movies is a multicultural, multiracial, non-profit media arts organization which facilitiates the production, promotion, distribution, and exhibition of independent films and videotapes by and about women. contact us