Press and Screenings


First Run Features presents a documentary written and directed by Julia Query and Vicky Funari. Running time: 70 minutes. No MPAA rating.

This Union Maid was wise, To the tricks of company spies. She couldn’t be fooled by company stools– She’d always organize the guys. : –Old labor song

And not only the guys. When the strippers at the Lusty Lady, a San Francisco peep emporium, decided to organize themselves into a labor union, there were jolly news stories all over the country. People thought it was hilarious. This may be because in the popular mind strippers do not really work.…more
Chicago Sun-Times, June 22, 2001 BY ROGER EBERT

‘Live Nude Girls Unite!’: Throw Off the Yoke, but Keep the G-String
Julia Query, who made “Live Nude Girls Unite!” in collaboration with Vicky Funari, was raised by her feminist mother to believe, she says, “in freedom, justice and equality for all.” A graduate-school dropout, stand-up comedian and aspiring writer, Ms. Query shown in an early home-movie clip reading “Free to Be . . . You and Me” with her mother has also worked as a stripper at a San Francisco peep- show house called the Lusty Lady.…more
New York Times, October 20, 2000. By A. O. SCOTT

Julia Query is a San Francisco stripper. She’s also a stand-up comedian, a feminist and now a filmmaker – and she’s got a Jewish momma who doesn’t know too much about what she gets up to – especially at the Lusty Lady peep show where she works to support her comedy habit. ‘Thanks for the six years of ballet lessons, Mom,’ says Julia at the start of this sexy, hilarious account of her struggle to unionise the Lusty Lady. When one of the strippers is fired, Julia leads her co-workers into battle – petitioning, refusing to remove their G-strings and picketing the club with the all time great chant ‘2 – 4 – 6 -8 don’t come here to masturbate!’ dIn the course of the film we discover much more about the lives of her fellow strippers – many of them self-confident, intelligent, educated and attractive performers. But for Julia as the battle reaches the nightly news, it has more deeDeaply personal consequences – forcing her to ‘come out’ to her mother, a doctor well known for her campaigning work with prostitutes and AIDS – a breath-taking scene in this delightful film. Golden Spire Award for Bay Area Documentary & Audience Award Best Documentary Feature, San Francisco International Film Festival.
Sheffield International Documentary Festival On Tour, Dec 2000/jan, feb 2001

It was with great pleasure that I viewed a screening cassette of your film “Live Nude Girls Unite!” last week and was able to give it a 3.5/4 star
Mac VerStandig, Sept, 2000

The film…cleverly incorporates various film formats, including animation. The surprisingly adept direction and craft editing gives this film the added punch necessary to raise it above other low-budget documentaries….It’s rare when a documentary film manages to inform and entertain… Live Nude Girls UNITE! scores., May 23, 2000. By Keith Rockmael

The meshing of sexual and power politics and the rough road to a negotiated contract are the subjects of Live Nude Girls UNITE!, low-budget documentary by co-directed by Vicky Funari (“Paulina”) and first-time filmmaker Julia Query, who still performs at the club. “When you’re a young woman out in the world, you’re sexually harrassed and are often asked to do things that are sex work oriented — to be emotionally available to men, to provide attention, to wear make-up and look good,” says Query. “If you have awareness of this, the obvious leap is to ahead and get paid for it.”
UNITE! manages to be an entertaining package tour of the 1990s feminism, the sex trade, sociology, and a mother-daughter relationship in crisis.
Query says if she could have avoided having to tell her mother what she did for a living, she would have.”During the 60’s, while other people were having the Summer of Love, my mother was on of the 10 women in her med school,” says Query.”She tried very hard to earn respect from the masculine world, and she wanted me to be a success in a way that fits that model. The fact that New York MoMA is showing the film has thrilled her. She’s throwing a party, but I don’t think she’s told anyone what it’s about.”
SF Weekly, April 26-May 2, 2000. By Sura Wood

[The] primary conflict is engrossing enough, but “Live Nude Girls UNITE!” cleverly pulls us in further by paralleling the union efforts with co-director (and stand-up comic) Julia Query’s more personal struggle. Daughter of Dr. Joyce Wallace, an esteemed physician and crusading educator/activist on behalf of NYC streetwalkers. Query has long been “out” to her mother as a lesbian- yet has kept her day job a secret, fearing an explosive responseÅ .Both Women are so articulate, personable and headstrong that this running subplot adds considerable drama.
Cannily paced, docu manages to discuss larger sex industry issues and ethics in passing without loosing focus. Brief, simple animated segs add to its good-humored, yet still serious-minded tenor.
Variety, May 8-14, 2000. By Dennis Harvey

This eye-opening documentary goes way behind the green door to chronicle the struggle of the Lusty Lady’s workforce as it unionizes against all oddsÅ .Following in the footsteps of Barbara Kopple as it builds tension with late-night sessions in the conference rooms of large corporate office buildings, Live Nude Girls UNITE! brings sharp surprises to the world of labor filmmaking. One dancer interviewed plans on wearing only union stickers to cover her most private parts during one performance… Look for the union lable? It won’t be too hard to find.
The San Francisco Bay Guardian, April 19, 2000. By Gerhard.

Julia Query’s “Live Nude Girls UNITE!” is another documentary premiere that will entertain, provoke and enlighten. …Part chronicle of the battle to organize, part introspective look at what it means to work in the sex industry, Query’s film is funny and thoughtful, taking its issues seriously but never succumbing to stridency or self-righteousnes. Query is candid about her own discomfort about coming out to her mother — not about being a lesbian (that part was easy, apparently) but about being a stripper. … The rift makes personal the film’s examination of social attitudes about strippers. And the preconceptions about strippers are nicely countered by profiles of the dancers themselves who, at great personal risk, stood ready to strike as the months of union contract negotiations dragged on.
Bay Windows, April 6, 2000. By Loren King.

“I loved it,” raved second year psychology major and Kresge student Kate Waimey. “I’ve always been vacillating over ‘should [the sex industry] exist? Should it not? Who am I to say what women can do with their
The Fish Rap Live! (Santa Cruz) May 19th, 1999(rough cut viewing)


May 8, 2000

  • variety
    download a pdf of the variety review

April 26, 2000

  • SF Weekly
    download a pdf of the Weeky review

April 19, 2000

  • SF Guardian
    download a pdf of the guardian review

if you don’t have Adobe Acrocbat Reader, you should download it coz it’s pretty cool and convenient to have


xxxxxxxxxxx March 2000

  • SXSX 2000– UNITE! sold out every performance, was rated highly by the audience and was nominated for best doc– all with a temporary audio mix! Co-director and editor Vicky Funari, editor Heidi Rahlmann Plumb and producers John Montoya and Avilla Peterson all partied as much as they could considering they still had to finish the sound design. Plus Julia ran into the boy she fell in love with (unrequited) when she was 18 and hadn’t seen since!
April 2000

  • Boston Women’s International Festival of Women’s Cinema– A festival by invite not application. It healed Julia’s pain for not being popular in high school.
  • San Francisco International Film FestivalUNITE!won both a Golden Spire Award for Bay Area Documentary and the Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature!

    The jury’s statement was:

    “We award this film because it so perfectly fulfilled our criteria for what we are looking for in winning entries–it’s engaging, fresh, provocative, moving, innovative, entertaining and thoughtful. The film combines a number of documentary genres. As a result, it is deeply political, highly personal, gives us a new way of looking at women working in the sex industry,and presents a psychologically complex profile of the filmmaker/artist. And the icing on the cake–it’s often hilariously funny.”

May 2000

  • Atlanta Film and Video Festival
June 2000

  • Provincetown Film Festival–Sat, June 17 at 7:30 at VIXEN, a cabaret lounge screening place.
  • Marsailles, France– the market from June 21-24. Julia will be there (her first time in France!) Associate Producer CJ Roessler will also attend.
  • New York, MoMA— CANCELLED– the workers at MoMA are on strike so we will not be showing the film despite the fact that this is breaking Julia’s mother’s heart- However, keep checking this page because we might do a benefit for the workers, who call themselves PASTA-MoMA.
July 2000

  • Los Angeles Outfest— UNITE!’s first Queer Festival, Firday July 14th, 7:00 PM @ the DGA.
August 20th, 2000

  • Chicago Underground Film Festival— 8:30 pm, Place TBA– We won a grant from them for which we will always be grateful!
September 26th, 2000

  • Image and Nation FF, Montreal
Oct. 6th 2000

  • San Francisco — Theatrical opening— Roxxie, 16th St.
    PLEASE GO OPENING WEEKEND! — October 6th, 7th and 8th.
    The film will play through October 19.
    Roxie Theater
    3117 16th Street at Valencia, San Francisco
    Nightly at 6:00, 8:00 and 9:45
    Sat, Sun and Wed matinees at 2:00 and 4:00
Oct 2000 dates

  • U.C. Theater, Berkeley 10/13-19
  • Image Out GLFF, Rochester NY 10/13
  • Washington GLFF Washington DC 10/18/2000
  • Quad Theater, New York 10/20-open
  • Seattle GLFF, Seattle, WA 10/22/2000
  • Minneapolis GLFF , Minneapolis, MN 10/26/2000
  • Dobie Theater, Austin TX 10/27-11/2
  • Real Art Ways, Hartford CT 10/28,30

Nov 2000 dates

  • Hallwalls Buffalo, NY 11/22/2000
  • Towne Theater, San Jose, CA 11/3-open
  • Varsity Theater, Seattle, WA 11/24-30/2000
  • Cinevegas FF, Las Vegas, NV 11/30/2000

Dec 2000 dates

Jan 2001 dates

  • Sheffield International Documentary Festival On Tour
    11 January – Glasgow Film Theatre, Glasgow
    15 January – Tyneside, Newcastle-upon-Tyne
    17 January – The Barn, Dartington
    19-20 January – Dundee Contemporary Arts, Dundee
    28 January – National Film Theatre, London *
    30-31 January – Cornerhouse, Manchester
    * Julia Query has been invited to introduce the screening at the National Film Theatre on 28 January 2001.
  • Sacramento City College, Sacramento, CA 1/25/2001
  • Portland, OR Cinema 21 date. opens Monday, Feb 26

Feb 2001 dates

Wait to hear on more foreign festivals!
© 2011 Julia Query