News KVIFF Talk about Pleasure also discussed stereotypes in the porn industry

Published: August 23, 2021| 12:00 PM

Pleasure, the feature debut from the Swedish director Ninja Thyberg, is only for viewers aged 18 years and up and its somewhat controversial reputation precedes it. That is because its theme is the world of the partially taboo, partly mythologised porn industry. But Ninja Thyberg treats it so naturally that all the prejudices about it gradually disappear, and only the astonishment that it is an entertainment industry like any other remains.

For Ninja Thyberg, moreover, it is not a new theme: her short film of the same name won the Canal+ award in the La Semaine de la Critique competition section at the festival in Cannes eight years ago. “In a way, I have been working on the film for the last twenty years,” said Ninja Thyberg at the beginning of her KVIFF talk, which was moderated by film journalist Marta Balaga. “When I was sixteen, my boyfriend of the time showed me porn, and it was a shock to me. It turned my world upside down because my friends and I had a completely different idea about sex. We never talked about masturbation, for example,” she recalled.

“But that world fascinated me in a way. All the stereotypes associated, historically, with the patriarchate and its roles…,” she continued, adding that the most interesting thing was the moment she realised that she, in her stance as an educated feminist, was quite disdainful in her attitude towards porn actresses, who she considered to be the dumb victims of gender stereotypes that do not see ‘what's happening to them’. “I had to throw out everything that I had thought up to that point. My task as a director is to always keep searching. For answers, but also for new perspectives,” she summarised.

You can see Pleasure at KVIFF two more times: on Wednesday from 10:30 p.m. at Husovka Theater and then at the very end of the festival, from 10 p.m. on Saturday 28 August in the Congress Hall. And you can watch the KVIFF Talk on KVIFF TV.

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