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The Madam documentary

"The Madam provides an intimate and humorous exploration of the sex industry, through the eyes of Mary-Anne Kenworthy, a unique woman on a mission to decriminalise prostitution."

Keywords: Mary-Anne Kenworthy, sex industry, online brothel, decriminalisation of prostitution, Western Australia. Three words: 'Eye-opening', 'Humorous', 'Unconventional'.


"The Madam" is a fascinating documentary directed by Brenton Bent and released in 2002. The film offers an intimate and humorous exploration of the sex industry through the eyes of Mary-Anne Kenworthy, a millionaire, mother, Rotarian, and entrepreneur who also happens to own two of the largest illegal brothels in Western Australia.


"The Madam" follows the bold and eccentric Mary-Anne Kenworthy on her quest to launch an online brothel and her crusade to decriminalise prostitution. The film provides a unique and entertaining perspective on the sex industry, exposing its realities while challenging preconceived notions.

More Film Analysis


"The Madam" employs a direct and candid style, allowing Mary-Anne to narrate her own story. The documentary delves deep into the intricacies of the sex industry, presenting a well-researched and balanced view of prostitution and its legal implications.

Historical and Factual Context

Prostitution laws in Western Australia have been a contested issue for many years. While brothels are technically illegal, the government has largely turned a blind eye, creating a grey area that Mary-Anne Kenworthy has navigated with her business ventures.

Key themes in the film

  • The realities and misconceptions of the sex industry
  • The journey of establishing an online brothel
  • The fight for decriminalisation of prostitution

Film Comparisons

"The Madam" can be compared to other sex industry documentaries like "Louis Theroux's Twilight of the Porn Stars" and "Hot Girls Wanted." However, its unique focus on the brothel owner's perspective and the legal battles involved sets it apart.

Noteworthy Moments

A particular revelation in the film is when Mary-Anne opens up about her personal motivations and the challenges she faces in her crusade for decriminalisation, shedding light on her resilience and determination.


This documentary was well-received for its honest and unconventional portrayal of the sex industry. Critics praised it for its depth and humour, saying, "The Madam offers an eye-opening exploration of a usually hidden world, told with a sense of fun and frankness."


"The Madam" is a must-watch for anyone interested in understanding the sex industry's complexities and the ongoing debate on prostitution laws. It's enlightening, entertaining, and thought-provoking, providing an intimate look into a world that's often misunderstood.

More film information:


  • IMDB score: 7.8/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes score: 86%
  • Metacritic score: 76/100
  • Film festival awards: N/A



  • Mary-Anne Kenworthy - The titular Madam, a millionaire entrepreneur and brothel owner.



  • Perth, Western Australia - Where Mary-Anne's brothels are located and the main setting of the film.

Key Questions Raised by the Film:

  • What is the reality of the sex industry, particularly in Western Australia?
  • What are the challenges of launching an online brothel?
  • Why is the decriminalisation of prostitution important?

I wonder what the film would be in another art form

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  1. If this film was a famous book, which one would it be? "The Scarlet Letter" - both explore societal views on sex and morality.
  2. If this film was a famous song, which one would it be? "Material Girl" by Madonna - a song about a strong woman in control of her life.
  3. If this film was a famous piece of art, which one would it be? "The Kiss" by Gustav Klimt - a sensual piece that challenges traditional views on love and sex.
  4. If this film was a famous celebrity, who would it be? Madonna - an unapologetic, bold woman who's not afraid to challenge societal norms.
  5. If this film was a color, which one would it be? Red - a color often associated with passion, love, and the sex industry.
  6. If this film was a music style, which one would it be? Punk rock - a genre known for its rebellious spirit and challenging the status quo.