Disfigured: At minimum, it’s a movie with actual fat people in it.

By | July 19, 2008

I’m probably slow on the uptake here, but it was just this morning, via the Fat Studies email list, that I discovered Disfigured, a movie dealing with fat, eating disorders, and a tricky relationship between the two, as embodied by a fat woman and a woman recovering from anorexia.

My understanding – gleaned exclusively from other folks’ writing on the subject, not having seen this film myself as of yet – is that the movie’s portrayal of fat activism is deeply troubling to some fat activists. I can’t really comment on that until I’ve seen it myself. I will say that the trailer completely freaked me out and brought me to the precipice of weepiness. Not because it’s all wrong, but because it seems to be trying to capture the ugly grey area that lives in the heads of many of even the most successful fat acceptance activists, that constant pressure we all do quiet battle with every day of our lives, the struggle to love ourselves as fatasses in spite of powerful forces in the opposite direction. Some of us are winning this war, some are just fighting for a tie game, and some are losing outright. I can’t tell where the main fat character stands just from the trailer, but suffice to say I found it deeply unnerving. This is not necessarily a bad thing; it just makes it difficult to watch. Truthfully, the trailer bloody stressed me out so much I’m not sure I’ll be able to make it through the whole film in one go (for reference, I felt the same way about Heavy when it came out in 1995, and took four days to watch it).

While it comes out on DVD (and yes, Netflix will have it) on July 29, New Yorkers will be interested to know that they can catch a screening July 19th through the 24th, at 7pm, at Two Boots Pioneer Theater, 155 East 3rd St. (At Avenue A), NYC 10003. More info is here. If you’ve seen it, please drop a comment and let me know what you thought.

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