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by Katharina Mückstein
Feminism WTF is not simply a documentary about feminism or the status of women in our society. Feminism WTF is an extremely intelligent and necessary film, addressing everyone in view of a better future. At the Diagonale’23.
Past, present, future
“Feminism is future”, as a caption at the end of the documentary Feminism WTF, directed by Katharina Mückstein and presented as part of the programme of the Diagonale’23, indicates. A statement, this one, which indicates processes that are much more complex than one might initially think. Long, often very painful processes, in which important clichés that originated many and many centuries ago within a predominantly patriarchal society, in which diversity – in whatever sense you want to consider it – is considered something wrong, are called into question.
“How have we been taught that diversity is wrong?”, “How are women still discriminated against in the world of work today?”, “How do fascism and colonialism nurture certain ways of thinking?”, “How do approaches change when it comes to bringing up a boy or a girl?” In Feminism WTF, a series of sociologists, philosophers and sexologists analyse this question before Katharina Mückstein’s camera through different doctrines and different perspectives, giving rise to an important and never trivial historical and social discourse that makes us foresee a still very long process, which, however, alongside a patriarchy that does its utmost to fight with all its might against a ‘progressive and inevitable death’, could finally change the future forever.
Feminism WTF is an extremely topical and necessary documentary. A documentary that, with great clarity and objectivity, first and foremost makes us reflect about the world we live in and issues that affect practically every single aspect of our everyday life. Some educators are playing with two children. The girl seems to be perfectly at ease with dolls and prams, while the boy shows a marked predilection for a small toy motorbike. And when the two educators are told that, in fact, the girl is a boy and the boy is a girl, they are themselves surprised at how comfortable they both are with toys normally considered ‘unsuitable for them’.
The colours pink, light blue, but also yellow and purple take centre stage during the interviews and the artistic performances that alternate with them. Feminism WTF is characterised by a composed and precise staging, made all the more harmonious by dances and performances of all kinds in which the beauty of the bodies depicted tells us that, in fact, no one can be “labelled” or defined according to strict and obsolete canons. The music (by Tony Renaissance) is few, but essential, and only concerns the moments dedicated to the aforementioned performances. The environments depicted have an almost futuristic appearance and further indicate a possible ideal world in which no gender difference is made any more. Katharina Mückstein has researched everything down to the smallest detail and has once again shown herself to be particularly close to the world of women and how they have to fight every day to assert their rights and identity. Feminism WTF is not simply a documentary about feminism or the status of women within society. Feminism WTF is an extremely intelligent and necessary film, addressing everyone in view of a better future.
Original title: Feminism WTF
Directed by: Katharina Mückstein
Country/year: Austria / 2023
Running time: 96’
Screenplay: Katharina Mückstein, Ina Freudenschuss
Cinematography: Michael Schindegger
Produced by: La Banda Film, Nikolaus Geyrhalter Filmproduktion