A pair of essential documentaries from Sundance Film Festival this year examined the lives of trans sex workers through their own perspectives, and now both will be arriving this summer. Kristen Lovell and Zackary Drucker’s The Stroll, coming to HBO and Max next week, explores 1990s sex work in NYC’s now-gentrified Meatpacking District, while D. Smith’s Kokomo City, opening in theaters later next month, gives the spotlight to four trans sex workers from Atlanta and NYC. Ahead of both releases, the first trailers have now arrived.
John Fink said in his review of The Stroll, “A frank celebration of a pre-Giuliani New York, Kristen Lovell and Zachary Drucker’s The Stroll explores a unique period from the inside. Lovell––an actress, activist, and the producer of the seminal trans film The Garden Left Behind––knows the streets well, and after being the subject of a 2007 documentary about prostitution her eyes were opened to the possibility of one day making a film. In fifteen years, she’s gone from being homeless and sleeping at a Times Square megaplex to debuting her HBO-backed feature in Park City at the nation’s premier indie film festival.”
I said in our summer preview about Kokomo City, “Brimming with style and intimacy, the simple conceit of D. Smith’s directorial debut allows space for its subjects––four transgender sex workers––to tell their stories with an entertaining and moving amount of humanity. Ranging from the harrowing dangers of their profession––only amplified by the recent devastating news of the murder of one of the film’s subjects, Rasheeda Williams aka Koko Da Doll––to the power held in satisfying their clients’ desires to delivering a humorous frankness in recalling certain stories, Kokomo City is a captivating window into lives often silenced.“
See both trailers below.
The Stroll arrives on HBO and Max on June 21 and Kokomo City opens in theaters on July 28.