Film Review: Jezebel

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The webcam industry has come a long way since 1998. But one thing that hasn’t changed is the perspective of the women on the other side of the computer: This is a job. Some may be particularly skilled at making their customers feel special, and they may genuinely appreciate the occasional gifts, but for most of these women, it’s not a passion project. It’s a means to an end, and that end is keeping the lights on. Writer/director Numa Perrier’s semi-autobiographical feature, Jezebel, is not just a coming-of-age story but also one of entering the workforce as a woman.

19-year-old Tiffany (Tiffany Tenille) lives in 1998 Las Vegas, where she shares a microscopic apartment with her older sister, Sabrina (played by Perrier herself), their brother Dominic (Stephen Barrington), their youngest sister Juju, and Sabrina’s boyfriend Dave (Bobby Field). They are crammed together like sardines in what they clearly thought would be a temporary situation, while their mother ailed in the hospital. To make matters more awkward, Sabrina works nights as a phone sex operator, keeping everyone awake through the paper-thin walls. But when their mother dies, the other siblings must find work to help pay the rent. Dominic and Dave shirk their responsibilities immediately, and Juju is too young for employment. That leaves Tiffany, who is at a loss as to where to turn for her first job. But Sabrina knows of a burgeoning industry called “internet modelling” which offers good, fast money and doesn’t require any face-to-face contact with customers. Tiffany decides to try it on, and Sabrina boosts her confidence with a little makeover involving the “Jezebel” wig; long, flowing black tresses which frame her face in a more grownup way than her youthful 1950s pinup bangs…

Read the rest at Hammer to Nail.

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