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The Dilemma of Desire follows four women as they find their voices and the courage to own their sexuality. Committed to ‘Cliteracy’ - the understanding that the clitoris is fundamental to the female orgasm - these women are out to shatter the myths surrounding female sexual desire and to change our culture.
Maria Finitzo is a Peabody Award-winning social issue documentary filmmaker. Her work has been screened at numerous international festivals, and recently won her the Alfred I duPont Award. She is a long-time associate of the social issue documentary company Kartemquin Films. Maria is also a screenwriter and fiction film director.
Film Review: Maria Finitzo’s unapologetically "cliterate" documentary draws on a variety of female experiences. Contextualised against the pioneering work of artist Sophia Wallace, it explores themes of subversion and reclamation, with a pointed focus on the introduction of female physicality - in all its complexity - into public awareness. Spearheaded by the works of professors, exotic dancers, sex toy designers and doctors, Finitzo presents a fierce deconstruction of the idea that female pleasure begins and ends with vaginal penetration, following different women pushing against a range of obstacles to achieve the mutual pleasure of bodily understanding and autonomy. Through unpicking the female sexual experience, we are able to further explore how that translates onto the female experience as a whole. Alongside a heavy focus on the celebration of the female body, the documentary confronts the difficult topics of rape and consent, further magnifying the antithesis between how women are expected to consume their sexuality and how it is consumed by society. Ultimately, The Dilemma of Desire demands unapologetically to be heard; it not only tells its audiences, but shows them that the clitoris is worthy of cultural exposure, of scientific research, of societal acceptance, of male consideration - and, perhaps most importantly, of touch. Bryony Chellew
The Film Collaborative