Work (1996)

  |  Drama

Jenny is married to a dull mill worker she does not love, and though obviously bright, cannot find even the most demeaning job. She escapes the oppression of boredom only through her secret affair with her young next door neighbor June.


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2 July 2008 | lesmovies
| Another lost movie?
Work a film by Rachel Reichman. Who's seen this fantastic movie, with the star of The Wire in it? Rachel Reichman has brought several movies to the screen, and out into VHS and DVD, but where is this one hiding? My copy is all pristine and clean on the outside; the cover, but on the inside is all gummed up. It's an original Northern Arts Naiad Press release but they have gone out of business; Naiad has. If you would like to talk about this movie, or others like it, contact me. Thanks. Here's an interview with Sonja Sohn who starred in the movie, Work and also plays in the Wire. Written by: Diane Anderson Minshall Photographer Larry Riley HBO

Sonja Sohn Taps Into the Wire

On HBO's hot new series The Wire, police detectives on the battered, crime-riddled streets of Baltimore fight a never ending drug war. At the core are two cops an unconventional white guy named James McNulty and the less traditional but equally devoted black lesbian Shakima Greggs. Shakima nicknamed Kima by her colleagues is one of the few detectives who can go undercover in the drug ridden projects like an insider and still navigate the political morass of police bureaucracy. Her life at home with her long term partner is so convincing most fans expect that the actress who portrays Kima, Sonja Sohn, is herself a lesbian. Not that she's fighting her newfound role as lesbian sex symbol I'm really open, and I don't like to claim title to anything in my life, you know, racially, culturally, sexually. Of course, this isn't Sohn's first Dyke role, either. Her provocative screen debut was in the critically acclaimed lesbian film Work.

Sohn, a former slam poet, starred in and helped co write Slam. After that came smooches with Samuel Jackson in Shaft and a turn in Martin Scorsese's Bringing Out the Dead. Last month she appeared in HBO's third annual Def Poetry Jam and this summer she stars in the gritty, festival bound The Killing Zone. But make no mistake The Wire is Sohn's crowning achievement thus far. The second season of The Wire debuting June 1 moves away from the urban drug war and instead chronicles the steady decline of the working class in Baltimore. During a break on the set of the series, Sohn in her trailer cooking string beans and struggling with her cell phone told us why she's thrilled to play television's only black lesbian.

Curve Shakima's home life her relationship with her girlfriend seems so real and so natural. How did you develop that?

Sohn Honestly, I have to give a lot of credit to show creator David Simon. He just does such a great job with the writing and he knows the characters very well — I show up and I do the best job that I can.

I heard that you were disappointed with your initial sex scenes.

Laughs. Oh, absolutely!

Why is that?

It's because when I first saw it, it looked like two straight girls fumbling around trying to look like sexy lesbians. It was a very awkward situation. But this isn't the first time you've done a lesbian love scene. In Work, you have some really sexy scenes. How did you know about that? Laughs. I thought that movie was amazingly sexy. Really? I liked that film too, and I thought it was sexy. That's probably because director Rachel Reichman is really familiar with the world of lesbianism, you know, and is able to write those characters and direct those characters in that way. How does it feel to suddenly be a lesbian sex symbol? Chuckles. You know, some things you just don't have control over. And it's not that I mind. I was kissing Sam Jackson in Shaft, and all of a sudden, I became like a serious hot tie, you know, among straight black men. It's my job as an actress to inhabit many worlds and to do it convincingly. You know, you might get something like The Wire. God, you know how many actresses want this role? Like I said, it's a blessing.

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Release Date:

5 April 1996



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