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SIFF 2019: #Female Pleasure
June 1, 2019 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Switzerland | 2018 | 97 minutes | Barbara Miller
Hasidic Jew, Muslim, Shinto Buddhist, Catholic, Hindu: The five repression-battling women profiled in this doc come from different religious backgrounds but find that patriarchal fear of female sexual autonomy is universal.
SATURDAY, JUNE 1, 2019
Documentary filmmaker Barbara Miller (Forbidden Voices , SIFF 2013) showcases five extraordinary women from around the world who are fighting to liberate female sexuality from extreme religious and cultural constraints. Born into an ultra-orthodox Hasidic community in Brooklyn, Deborah Feldman found herself at 17 married and expected to offer obedience to a man she did not know, before having a child and deciding to escape; Somali immigrant Leyla Hussein, genitally mutilated as a child, is now a London-based psychotherapist who has challenged the U.N. to protect the rights of Muslim women in fundamentalist countries; manga artist Rokudenashiko creates strikingly original art, including plaster reproductions of her own vulva, in protest of Japan’s demonization of female sexuality as “obscene”; former nun Doris Wagner has become a voice for reform in the Catholic Church after authorities within the Vatican blamed her for “not resisting enough” after she reported being raped by a priest; and in India, educator Vithika Yadav is battling an epidemic of sexual harassment through an innovative education project that challenges strict Hindu conventions against discussing sexuality. Miller has combined the stories of these courageous activists into a surprisingly intimate and life-affirming tale of strength and courage, one that illustrates the value of allowing every woman the right to choose not only female pleasure, but also their own destinies.