Women’s rights and movements such as #MeToo have brought a subject to light that has been shrouded in darkness for too long. It is a topic the majority treat as out of sight, out of mind. Each passing day we watch as a world turns their back on women and the injustices they endure. The masses allow these practices to occur through such excuses as religion and culture. Director Barbara Miller’s (Forbidden Voices) documentary #Female Pleasure follows five stories each dealing with the struggle to live a normal everyday life through the boundaries and restrictions placed on them for simply being a woman.
Each woman although coming from a different part of the world and being raised with completely different cultures/religions are each oppressed and deal with equivalent hardships. It is truly an eye opening experience as I believe the majority “think” they know what is occurring but in reality it is worse than any one can imagine. Arranged marriages, genital mutilations, religious restrictions, rape and crimes against the government are issues women throughout the world deal with on a daily basis. Raised in a culture where one is considered “dirty” or “not normal” if they do not follow a book written by men, then forced to live a lifestyle they had no voice in opposing. A culture so acceptable in watching a giant penis paraded through the streets but make art showing a vagina and you are censored then arrested. Parts of the world who consider child marriages and rape as non issues throw my mind into a whirlpool of confusion; how could this happen? One of the bigger moments in the film is when a group of teenage boys are shown what exactly happens to women, mostly children, when Female Genital Mutilation occurs. Their reactions during and after is what this film is bringing to its audience; a view that although uncomfortable is necessary to understand the pain and progress to a better future.
In watching Miller’s film you truly feel for each woman and the struggles they have overcame. While disheartening in the journey their perseverance is what is to be celebrated. Their journeys though and that of millions of women around the world to bring a voice to the voiceless and bring about the change this world needs is still a work in progress.
4 out of 5
Film will be released in NYC Friday 10/18 playing at Village East Cinema
A special Q&A will be held after the 7pm 10/18 showing Click Here for tickets
Guests include director Barbara Miller, producer Philip Delaquis & Leyla Hussein
Follow the Film: