Dirty Diaries, a montage of 12 pornographic films by Swedish feminist documentary maker Mia Engberg, was released last week, sparking considerable public debate.
The Swedish Film Institute contributed EUR 49,000 to the controversial project, which has outraged some sectors of society, notably author of the Anti-Feminist Initiative blog and member of the Swedish Moderate Party Youth Organisation, Beatrice Fredriksson.
In the lead-up to the release, Engberg claimed that pornography has traditionally been made by men for men, and that she aimed to rebuff the porn industry’s sexist tendencies, whereby women are treated as merely objects.
Dirty Dairies instead focuses on the more natural side of female sexuality, displaying sex through a female perspective. Engberg has also claimed that female sexuality is more multi-faceted than that of men. Her ambition is to make pornography more appealing to women. Previously, Engberg had directed a lesbian pornographic film containing images of female facial expressions during orgasm.
Dirty Diaries includes such vignettes as “On Your Back Woman” and “Flasher Girl on Tour” as part of what Engberg hopes will make what is considered an alternate genre mainstream.
Fredriksson slammed the Swedish Film Institute’s donation, arguing that art of any form is subjective and that the decision has created a double standard where male porn does not receive the same recognition as art as Engberg’s work. Fredriksson argues that by labelling the movie ‘feminist’, Engberg has been able to garner taxpayer cash which could have been better spent in areas such as education, stating that government sponsored pornography in any form is harmful.
A spokesperson for the Swedish Film Institute defended the funding, claiming that Engberg’s film was, in both content and form, and an ambitious project which met funding criteria.