Normal is a 48 minute creative documentary that brings the real life stories of male, female and transgender migrants working in the sex industry to the screen. Drawing on original interviews with people working in the sex industry in Albania, Italy and the UK, documentary director and anthropologist Nicola Mai reveals their unheard voices.
In Tirana we meet Besnik, an Albanian young man who uses violence to stop his women getting under his skin. In Rome, Catalin is a Romanian minor selling sex to other men as it’s the best job he’s ever had. Having used violence in the past, Adrian, a Romanian young man, now respects his working girl to keep himself safe and out of jail. In London there’s Candy, a Romanian young woman who loves her trafficker to the point of getting convicted for controlling. Alina, a Moldovan woman, decides to work independently in the UK sex industry after having been trafficked. We also meet Cynthia, a transgender woman selling sex to feed her estranged family while waiting to fix her papers.
These voices often go against the grain of popular expectations that most migrant sex workers are exploited and forced to sell sex against their will. Confronting these attitudes, Normal uncovers a layered, human story of migration and sex work. What we hear are unexpected, disturbing, sometimes moving and often contradictory life stories. The viewer is continually challenged by the truth of their words, their dreams and the lives that they lead. All the characters are portrayed by actors, guaranteeing the anonymity and safety of the original interviewees and emphasizing the inherently performative nature of selves.