Okay. I guess that sounds exactly like a Lifetime Movie...or a New Age Convention here in Portland, OR. But...that it was a documentary - and one made by an obscure Australian filmmaker - I remained interested. Turns out this was one the more unique film experiences I've had in a very long time. The candor with which these six individuals expressed themselves provided such great drama, I almost believed it was all scripted.
-An ex-model with an eating disorder.
-A legless British man in a dance troupe.
-A pre-op transexual (FTM) passing as a male Christian minister in Taiwan.
-An Latino ex-gang member and felon whose actions resulted in the murder of his wife and child.
-An extremely overweight self described "fat activist" who now models for art students.
-An Aussie woman with breast cancer who refuses medical treatment in an attempt to get right with herself spiritually.
The film exposes these people simply and beautifully. Raw. Poignant. Celebratory. Heartbreaking. About half way through, they each have the opportunity to create a video "self portrait" where they talk (or not) and get in various forms of undress for the camera - sometimes embracing their naked beauty, sometimes still struggling with reconciling their fears. And by the time we see this - their nudity both physically and psychologically echoes back and forth in a most provocative and moving fashion.
I have spent my life dealing with severe body issues myself. Food addiction and eating disorders run rampant through my close and extended families. And I typically gain and lose an average of 60 pounds a year in an attempt to reach what feels like beauty. The disconnect between ourselves and our bodies seems like a plague. This film managed to bring the issue to light, and I thank director Kim Farrant for applying a delicate and silent artistry to the material.
If you have Showtime, see it. Rare and wonderful.