The Fine Line Between Empowerment and Exploitation Made Ninja Thyberg The Winner Of Cannes 2022- Women In Motion 

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Ninja Thyberg, a Swedish director is the winner of this year’s annual Women in Motion Young Talent Award, bestowed by the Kering Group and the Cannes Film Festival to a standout first-time female director. She is being honored for directing a feature, centered around the theme of “sexuality as a prism for viewing passion in society,” the award’s organizers said in a statement.

Back in 2013, Thyberg’s short “Pleasure” was presented in Cannes’ Critics’ Week section and then expanded into her first feature by the same title. Furthermore, the feature was screened in 2021 at Sundance. 

“Pleasure” is such a movie that is set in the controversial backdrop of porn industry which will surely change the way people see the industry. “The movie depicts the machinations of the industry itself, as experienced by its 22-year-old protagonist, Bella Cherry, played by Sofia Kappel.” Said the director. 

There is no doubt that the mainstream entertainment is inclined towards makingovies like “Fifty Shades of Grey” or “365 Days”, which still caters to fantasies about submissive women and dominant men that “flirt with rape.” Moreover, from such male perspective movies “the whole concept of a ‘whore’ or a “hoe” is constructed – by putting the shame of your own sexuality on women, calling them ‘sinful.’ Quite early in my life I realized I am living in a man’s world, where most things are told from a male perspective. By telling a story about this woman, by turning it around, I felt I could really make a point,” Thyberg said. 

Lastly, Nothing is unfamiliar or undiscovered in the plot of Pleasure, but Thyberg approaches her subject with such a clinical gaze that we’re led to believe that she’s doing something revolutionary. “Pleasure is neither judgmental nor celebratory in the way it treats porn, and yet its dispassionate, brightly lit eye is deliberately unnerving. You’ll leave the film wanting to wash off what you just saw.” Says Thrillist. 

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