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#FEMALE PLEASURE is a plea for female sexuality in the 21st century. Questioning millennial patriarchal structures as well as todays omnipresent porn-culture, it accompanies five extraordinary women around the globe, fighting for a self-determined, joyful female sexuality.
Screening day / time
  • :
  • : Block 2 – 11:00am


Running Time
Feature Film
101 minutes


Barbara Miller’s feature documentary #FEMALE PLEASURE portrays five courageous, smart and self-determined women, breaking the silence imposed by their archaic-patriarch societies and religious communities. With incredible strength and positive energy, Deborah Feldman, Leyla Hussein, Rokudenashiko, Doris Wagner and Vithika Yadav are fighting for sexual liberation and autonomy for women, beyond religious rules and cultural barriers. But their victory comes at a high price: they all have experienced public defamation, threats and prosecutions, have been excommunicated by the society they grew up in and even received death threats by religious leaders and fanatics.

#FEMALE PLEASURE shows the universal mechanisms at work that determine the position of women until today, spanning cultures, religions and continents: from Japan and India and the Somali muslim diaspora to the Hasidic community in Brooklyn and the Catholic clergy in Europe. All protagonists have come to the same conclusion: the female body is subjected to male lust and first and foremost meant for procreation, without any regard for female sexual pleasure and autonomy.

These women decided to speak up and are the ultimate example on how courage, strength and zest for life can indeed alter societal structures.

Filmmaker Notes:

#FEMALE PLEASURE is a plea for the right to self-determination and a fulfilled sexuality for women. I wanted to find out which universal structures are behind the fact that women, even today, can’t celebrate their body and their sexuality freely and if they do, in most parts of the world, they are despised, excommunicated or even threatened. All five women in this film come from different religious and cultural backgrounds, yet this is not a film about religions, and certainly not about faith. I want to show the universal, millennia-old and unfortunately still very topical structural demonization of the female body and her sexuality. The worldwide parallels are frightening

In almost all cultural, religious and social environments, there are forms of abuse of power by men or in which men use hierarchical structures to exploit, dominate and oppress women. The idea that women should not be self-determined sexual beings has changed a bit, in some parts of the world at least, but it is still deeply rooted in our society. In current Internet porn culture, for example, women are mainly there to satisfy men. Their own sexuality, their wishes and desires are often ignored and the clitoris, which is an essential organ for 70% of the women in order to have an orgasm, is simply non-existent.

I have made TV documentaries on these topics before and found that again and again, female pleasure and the appreciation of the female body doesn’t seem to have a proper place in our world, for men and women equally. An open discussion about what women really want and need still takes place too little. And I hope these five women can inspire girls and women all over the world to explore their own bodies, to have the courage to talk with their partners about their wishes and to stand up against religious, cultural and social dogmas who still tell them that they don’t count. A self-determined female sexuality, a liberation of the female body from the millennia-old moral weight, will be an incredible gain. For women and men.

Film details
Year(s) screened
  • 2019
More information
Where to Watch
Festival screenings
Screening Day / Time
  • :
  • : Block 2 – 11:00am
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