DOC NYC 2022: Queen Of The Deuce
Queen of the Deuce is another documentary I was able to see during the festival. The documentary chronicles the life of Chelly Wilson who was at the forefront of porn in Times Square during the 70s up to the early 90s. A Jewish woman born in Greece survived World War II being unorthodox and uncompromising in her upbringing and in her beliefs. She was one of a kind in those days as she moved to America to get money to bring her daughter here. Chelly who kept her last name even though she had different lovers throughout her life was still devoted to her husband to the end. Throughout the 70s the porn industry exploded across America and NYC was at the epicenter of it with the dozens of theaters across 42nd Street b.k.a. "The Deuce" which is where Chelly was Queen as she owned several theaters and produced her own films. As porn producers looked for outlets to get their film out the theater owners capitalize on the movement and countered with their own pictures. This is where Chelly started to get money from and attracted all types of people including some mob figures. Although Chelly was making a lot of money from the porn industry it didn't effect her relationship with her family. The documentary showcase a woman who will be making money from sex films but still all about her family at the end of the day. The film captures the true essence of being a hustler in New York but having a good heart as well. It's definitely in your face with the backstory of she met her husband to where she was hiding during the invasion in World War II. Even her children who were interviewed throughout the film talks about her in different phases such as the caring mother to savvy businesswoman to hard nosed owner. I like how the surviving family members were able to give their best descriptions so the audience could not be swayed. Overall a great documentary that brings the nostalgia of what we missed and love of 1970s New York and what's missing today. I believe you will enjoy "Queen Of The Deuce " a great ode to the way things were.