Joanna Rytel


2019 / 19 min

she is filming everything.
In a surreal apartment
a cougar, a guest, a child
and promises of a dog
if the child plays

Stay Ups

2017 / 11 min

A cougar is about to get nightly visits from a young man. Her child is, as usual, in the way.

Joanna Rytel continues to investigate the hardships of being a parent and a sexual being. »Moms on Fire« depicted pregnancy under an imprisoning norm, and in »Stay Ups« the kid has grown talkative and needy. As a “cougar” awaits a nightly visitor, she tries to convince her child to stay hidden behind the sofa. This comedy is presented with a pang of sadness, as the ambivalence of parenthood is depicted in a rare and truthfully absurd way.

After last years success with animated Moms on fire, Joanna Rytel now returns with a new short film that challenges ideas of gender and motherhood. A woman in her 40s prepares for the date of evening, while telling her child to keep out of the way. With her unique style and dialogue, Joanna Rytel makes an outstanding comeback with Stay ups.

Moms On Fire

2016 / 13 min

An ordinary neighbourhood in an ordinary town. Two women sit on a sofa and scratch their pregnant bellies. Four days till the due date. The situation is as unbearable as it is unavoidable. It’s simply intolerable. Masturbation isn’t an option, the clitoris can’t even be reached, and the boyfriend is absent, but he’s boring anyway. The only advantage in having another child is that one no longer has to play with the first one. Artist and filmmaker Joanna Rytel uses claymation to candidly address questions and situations that usually go unnoticed.

Once upon a time there was an unfaithful mummy

2013 / 10:24

A mum tells her little daughter a fairytale. "Once upon a time there was an unfaithful mummy and she was me...."
But how can a three year old understand what cheating means?                                                                                 

This movie is about breaking expectations of how a mother should behave. I am provoked by a certain role you are given as a mother. I want to give motherhood a greater scope and present an image of an imperfect mum.

On top of your gaze

2013 / 10 min

A girl, two male friends. There will be no threesome as she hoped. Instead, she demands their gaze. But she forgot one important detail...

Me seal, baby

2013 / 14:30 min

A woman obsessively tries to get pregnant by her infertile boyfriend. Her brutal statements about age, sex and pregnancy challenge politically correct moralism. Sensitive issues are met head on in her funny, confrontational rant.

There are apparently a lot of infertile men, most of them are young.
Often the older have better sperm than the young. How can you tell, it`s not written across their forehead?
I think it`s PLASTIC. Then I get scared of plastic. It`s toxic.
Men’s fertility also weakens at 35,
still one or another old fuck can get babies until they’re ninety.
Either way men are accountable for 50% of all couples’ infertility because of their few, worthless and lazy sperms.
Yes, most environmental pollutions seem to have gotten stuck in their balls.
And Danish men have the worst sperms in the world. You should make a caricature of that.
Men’s sperm has weakened with 50 % in 50 years.
What will it look like in another 50 years? Well well, I still have my sperm earrings.
In Montreal there is a special street with pregnant whores for men that has a special fetish for them.
Ain’t that cute? Cause when you get fat, tired and constipated you get to be desired. Or is that gross?
After 2 years the female will leave the male if she doesn't get pregnant, a scientist says on TV.
10% have a different dad than they think.

The seal

2011 / 3:04 min

A film about unwanted compulsive thoughts during pregnancy. For example that you believe you can harm the fetus by creating stomach cramps. And how to convince yourself that you are just a seal. Because seals don't give birth to anything dead or sick. Right?


2010 / 6:28 min

A girl travels around Europe. She is I. She sleeps around. Finally she finds two male friends. Two times cock in her little feminist hands – so fucking luxurious. She plays with both of them separately. With the camera rolling she tells one of them, the one who thought he had her all for himself. Then the unexpected happens. To uphold his honor in front of his friend he acts like it was his idea to let his friend sleep with her too. The film breaks conventions, norms and patriarchal rules about how a girl should behave. It deals with gender rules, taboos and demanding too much space as a girl. But most of all it's about honour between male friends. And the way men are forced to act like men towards one another. That's right, unless they become feminists and do something about their imposed gender roles.

Flasher Girl On Tour

2010 / 13:48 min

My short in the Dirty Diaries collection, Flasher Girl On Tour, is about a female flasher out on a flasher tour. Is it possible to flash oneself as a woman and not be an object? Is it possible to be sexual in public space on one's own terms. Is it a revenge film? No, not at all. People seem to think bad behaviour belongs to men. This because as soon as a woman acts badly you think that she is copying men or getting revenge on patriarchy. This is incorrect! My flasher likes to flash and disgust in public space. She is also going to take out a patent for it.

Dirty Diaries

2010 / 85 min

Filmmaker Mia Engberg asked a number of Sweden's most promising artists and filmmakers to make a feminist porn movie, each with a mobile phone camera. The result was twelve movies that together ran 105 minutes, and for the first time in Swedish film history: Feminist porn! Vanilla, hardcore, straight and gay, provocation, penetration and filmic poetry in a new and unique short film compilation. It's an important statement that feminists finally do their own porn. I have longed to make porn mine!

Gang Bang Barbie

2010 / 7:48 min

A man gets picked up by a woman in a bar. She loves playing with Barbie dolls, with heavy consequences for him.

To Think Things You Don't Want To

2005 / 21:30 min

2005 / 21:30 min

A white Swedish woman begins a relationship with a black man. A balancing act between curiosity and rejection, shame and voyeurism, pre-judgement and racism.
The film is intense. The language is deliberately strong and it deals with the very sensitive subject of racism. It's a journey inside a white Swedish woman's head while she gets to know a black man. It's a journey through the underworld of thoughts beyond political correctness. It's not a journey through our dark thoughts or the darker aspects of humanity – it's a journey into our collectively suppressed and sublimated selves. Where "self" is understood to be a complex socio-historical construction. The storyline is told in diary format and is about the ambiguity of a white woman's racial thoughts about and desires for a black man. By talking about racism, I don't try to set us free. I prefer to expose our common fears and our constructed barriers that prevent us from reaching out towards each other. Gradually and boldly I reveal that we are all at the same time abusers and victims of our social preconceptions. Racist assumptions are mixed with exotic assertions about the black man. After seeing the film, I want people to ask themselves what it is to be white.

Then I'll Take Your Cat

2002 / 8:05 min

Then I'll Take Your Cat is a continuation of Animal Performance. In both pieces I'm interested in how we perceive animals' reactions to human behaviour. It is primarily about the human gaze, since the animals are subjected to something that some people believe questions their dignity. I use sexuality when investigating this, since it's a primary drive in mammals. I staged a kiss between a cat and a person and also a cat observing a person masturbating. The reactions were interesting. Some people became upset and thought I took advantage of the animals. But I could neither force nor prevent the cat. It chooses itself what it wants to watch and lick. What the cat is exposed to is in the eye of the spectator. Who decides what's okay or and what isn't? Can you make that decision for somebody else? In the eyes of the animals it could mean something else. In these performances the animals are substitutes for humans in sexually charged situations. That is provoking. The animal becomes equal to human beings. We're not used to that. Suddenly you can't just dismiss an animal as an "animal", which we have to do in order to continue our crimes against animals. Eat them, cage them, use them.

Animal Performance

2002 / 12 min

I saw laboratory monkeys on TV who looked so bored. They looked ill, sad and disturbed, all at the same time. After all they are really bright creatures. It's so unfair. "Whatever, let people die from disease instead, only so they won't have to suffer for us." "What if it where your child," someone said. "Wouldn't you want good medicine and its life saved, of course at the cost of animal testing?" "Certainly not," I said. The guy who asked had kids, I didn't. I was never allowed inside a research centre. "The monkeys have AIDS, what if you get squirted in the eye and become infected." "I see. Is there anything else one could do for the animals?" I did Animal Performance. But it became something completely different. In my Animal Performances I am seen dancing in front of sheep, goats, horses, cows and stripping in front of monkeys. The spectator becomes a voyeur, watching the animals who are watching me. The spectators are deprived of their passive roles. Who is looking at whom and why? Who has the power over the gaze, the power over seeing?