Maria Finitzo Talks THE DILEMMA OF DESIRE and SXSW

Maria Finitzo Talks THE DILEMMA OF DESIRE and SXSW

THE DILEMMA OF DESIRE, directed by Maria Finitzo, produced by Diane Quon and Cynthia Kane alongside Kartemquin Films, explores the clash between the power of gender politics and the equally powerful imperatives of female sexual desire. Before the film heads to Austin for its World Premiere at the South By Southwest Film Festival, Finitzo stopped by SCREEN for a chat about her provocative feature...

SCREEN: What makes this film special and unique in the documentary genre?

FINITZO: THE DILEMMA OF DESIRE is the first film to explore the connection between women’s power, both political and personal and the suppression of their human right to be sexual.

SCREEN: What is "Cultural Cliteracy?"

FINITZO: Yes, the film talks about the clitoris - where it is, what it looks like and what it is for but it is not a film about the clitoris or even sex. Instead it is a film that connects the consciousness of clitoral facts -- the truth with empowerment way beyond sexual satisfaction and demonstrates that Cultural Cliteracy fuels growth, creativity, and individuation helping women find and express personal power. In a culturally cliterate world, a woman defines sex according to her own values, desires, and pleasures. She becomes not only her own sexual person, but the protagonist of her own life.

SCREEN: What does this film mean to you as a filmmaker?

FINITZO: Many of my films, both documentary and fiction, (5 GIRLS, IN THE GAME, A TASTE OF LIFE) have explored the lives of women and girls revealing the barriers they face in the quest for personal autonomy. I am interested in telling stories that have at their core a driving desire for liberation-- sexual, economic and psychological from the cultural domination of men. THE DILEMMA OF DESIRE is a natural evolution of my work.

SCREEN: What is your personal connection with this film?

FINITZO: As a woman who grew up in the 60’s, I bring an understanding of what it meant to negotiate the sexual landscape as a single young woman during the political upheaval of the sexual revolution. As a mother of a son and daughter, I watched my children grow up navigating the ups and downs of the sexual landscape. Despite all the gains of the 60’s, old rules remained in place. Gender politics was even more pervasive and most importantly, I was struck by how much more dangerous the world was for both of my children, and in particular for my daughter. I am deeply committed to making this film--for my daughter, for my son, for all of our children.

SCREEN: What does having your World Premiere at SXSW mean to you and your team?

FINITZO: This means everything to the team. The opportunity to premiere the film at SXSW is exciting for all of us personally and for launching the film into the world.

Click here for more about THE DILEMMA OF DESIRE and all the Chicago films heading to South by Southwest this March.

Photo Credit: Joe Mazza/ Brave Lux Films