Dirty Diaries is a 2009 collection of thirteen pornographic short films made by Swedish feminists and produced by Mia Engberg. The individual films are highly diverse in content, although many of them feature humour and different forms of queer sex. The creative decisions were based on a manifesto with the aim to create pornography that is non-commercial and follows feminist ideals. The film sparked controversy before and after its release because of sexually provocative content and the fact that it was mainly financed through public funds.
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Dirty Diaries Manifesto
1. Beautiful the way we are
To hell with the sick beauty ideals! Deep self-hatred keeps a lot of women’s energy and creativity sapped. The energy that could be focused into exploring our own sexuality and power is being drained off into diets and cosmetics. Don’t let the commercial powers control your needs and desires.
2. Fight for your right to be horny
Male sexuality is seen as a force of nature that has to be satisfied at all costs while women’s sexuality is accepted only if it adapts to men’s needs. Be horny on your own terms.
3. A good girl is a bad girl
We are fed up with the cultural cliché that sexually active and independent women are either crazy or lesbian and therefore crazy. We want to see and make movies where Betty Blue, Ophelia and Thelma & Louise don’t have to die in the end.
4. Smash capitalism and patriarchy
The porn industry is sexist because we live in a patriarchal capitalist society. It makes profit out of people’s needs for sex and erotica and women get exploited in the process. To fight sexist porn you have to smash capitalism and patriarchy.
5. As nasty as we wanna be
Enjoy, take charge or let go. Say NO when you want, to be able to say YES when YOU want.
6. Legal and free abortion is a human right!
Everyone has the right to control their own body. Millions of women suffer from unwanted pregnancies and die from illegal abortions every year. Fuck the moral right for preaching against birth control and sex information.
7. Fight the real enemy!
Censorship cannot liberate sexuality. It is impossible to change the image of women’s sexuality if sexual images in themselves are taboo. Don’t attack women for displaying sex. Attack sexism for trying to control our sexuality.
8. Stay Queer
A lot of opposition to erotica is homophobic and even more transphobic. We don’t believe in the fight between the sexes but in the fight against sexes. Identify as any gender you want and make love to whoever you want. Sexuality is diverse.
9. Use Protection
“I’m not saying go out an’ do it, but if you do, strap it up before you smack it up.” (Missy Elliott)
10. Do it yourself
Erotica is good and we need it. We truly believe that it is possible to create an alternative to the mainstream porn industry by making sexy films we like.
Directed by various
Produced by Mia Engberg
Music by Fever Ray, Bonnie Li, Fox’n Wolf
Editing by Hanna Lejonqvist, Marinella Angusti
Distributed by Njutafilms
Release date(s) September 3, 2009
Running time 105 minutes
Language Swedish, English, French
Budget 500,000 SEK
The idea for creating Dirty Diaries emerged after Engberg and some of her friends had made Come Together for the Stockholm International Film Festival. It was a short film where each participants filmed themselves with mobile phone cameras while masturbating. Come Together received a large amount of negative commentary, primarily from men, who complained about the actor-photographers being unattractive. To Engberg, this was proof that pornographic films demanded that their female participants should be seen as pleasing to its primarily male audience. Engberg had previously made another feminist pornographic short called Selma and Sofie which enjoyed some success. This and Engberg’s record of other successful cultural ventures motivated the Swedish Film Institute to supply an initial 350,000 Swedish kronor, later supplemented with an additional 150,000.
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