This documentary film was scheduled to screen at South by Southwest (SXSW). Screen Zealots will continue some of our planned coverage of SXSW, the annual film festival in Austin, Texas that was cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
The clash between gender politics and what’s considered to be the social norm is given a fresh spin in “The Dilemma of Desire,” director Maria Finitzo’s rebellious documentary that explores the work of four outspoken women who are shattering myths about female sexuality and eroticism.
Through the eyes of an artist who creates works based on the female anatomy, an industrial designer who constructs vibrators, a neuroscientist who studies the biology of the clitoris, and a psychologist working to dismantle outdated notions about women’s arousal, the film will empower women by encouraging them to take control of their sexuality by speaking out, standing up, and to stop being ashamed.
This is a good looking and well-crafted documentary. Beautiful graphics and animation add to the story, and scenes of a group of regular women sitting around and chatting in a circle of friends gives it a homey, authentic feel. The subject matter ranges from enjoyable (the tale of a woman with a strict upbringing who now works as a successful stripper) to alarming (a horrifying segment where women describe their rapes in great detail, in their own voices).
There’s no sugar coating topics like the harmful treatment of women in the world’s major religions, the grossly unbalanced sex education courses currently being taught in classrooms, and the widespread violence against females that range from unwelcome catcalls on a city street to being treated like second-class citizens in the workplace.
Many still don’t seem to understand the reality of the obstacles women face in their everyday lives, and this documentary will hopefully serve as a social tool to educate, anger, and inspire.