A new documentary "Lot Lizard" focuses on the lives of three women who work at truck stops as prostitutes, selling sex to truck drivers.
"The truth is, making the movie was a really traumatic experience. I suspect I may have developed some mild PTSD," filmmaker Alexander Perlman told Mother Jones.
To make this shocking film, Perlman traveled thousands of miles and shot hundreds of hours of footage, including: roach motels, hookers getting high on crack and homicidal pimps.
"Lot Lizard" follows three women (Betty, Monica, and Jennifer) who work in this creepy fringe world where they can make $60 to $80 for two minutes of work, according to the film's trailer (video below).
However, the women burn through money as fast as they make it. Betty and Monica are both crack addicts, and Monica is homeless.
Jennifer, who recently quit prostitution, buys a house, but can't find a job. She has to choose between earning minimum wage at a normal job or making far more money as a lot lizard.
As far as the men who hire the women, one trucker says in the film: "These walls close in on you. Being in this truck can actually make you crazy."
The film's website states how the idea for the disturbing documentary came about:
In 2009, Alexander Perlman hitchhiked from New York City to San Francisco. While soliciting rides at a truck stop in Ohio, a woman approached him. They discussed his trip and her grandchildren until she offered her services to a passing truck driver. The truck driver took her up on the offer and they left, leaving Alex perplexed.
Alex caught a ride shortly thereafter, but as his journey progressed, he learned that sex workers are prevalent at truck stops throughout the country. Curious about the circumstances that lead them to their illicit trade, he resolved to shoot a documentary on the subject.