7.0/10
34
1 user 2 critic

The Famine Within (1990)

Documents the contemporary obsession with an unrealistic body size and shape among North American women and the eating disorders it engenders.

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Rebecca Jenkins ...
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Documents the contemporary obsession with an unrealistic body size and shape among North American women and the eating disorders it engenders.

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Women's bodies and the cultural ideal [Video]

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Documentary

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20 March 1992 (Australia)  »

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dry but informative
16 November 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Women's diets and eating disorders are the subjects of this dry but informative Canadian documentary. Miracle weight-loss cures are, of course, nothing new, but only in the image obsessed 1980s did the need to lose weight become such a dangerous compulsion. The physical and psychological effects of forced starvation are illustrated with chilling candor (one undernourished model expresses envy when shown a photo of Karen Carpenter taken just before the singer died from anorexia), but the various causes (cultural trends, consumer pressure) are sometimes analyzed half to death. One expert claims men are at fault for promoting unrealistic standards of beauty as a way of maintaining control over women; another blames Feminism for its almost militant competitive agenda. Fingers are pointed, but no easy solutions are offered, except the cautionary fact that prolonged dieting can actually make it easier to gain weight, leading to a vicious (and occasionally fatal) cycle of malnutrition.


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