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Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus (2006)

Turning her back on her wealthy, established family, Diane Arbus falls in love with Lionel Sweeney, an enigmatic mentor who introduces Arbus to the marginalized people who help her become one of the most revered photographers of the twentieth century.


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2 wins. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Lionel Sweeney
David Nemerov
Gertrude Nemerov
Grace Arbus
Genevieve McCarthy ...
Sophie Arbus
Jack Henry
Tippa Henry
Mary Duffy ...
Allan's New Assistant
Lynn-Marie Stetson ...
Fiona (Naked Girl) (as Lynn Marie Stetson)
Handsome Client


In 1958, in New York City, the upper class Diane Arbus is a frustrated and lonely woman with a conventional marriage with two daughters. Her husband is a photographer sponsored by the wealthy parents of Diane, and she works as his assistant. When Lionel Sweeney, a mysterious man with hypertrichosis (a.k.a. werewolf syndrome, a disease that causes excessive body hair), comes to live in the apartment in the upper floor, Diane feels a great attraction for him and is introduced to the world of freaks and marginalized people, falling in love with Lionel. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for graphic nudity, some sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

20 October 2006 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Fur  »

Box Office


$16,800,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$28,815 (USA) (10 November 2006)


$220,914 (USA) (15 December 2006)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Robert Downey Jr. has a previous connection to the Arbus family. His father, filmmaker Robert Downey Sr., made Greaser's Palace (1972) starring Diane Arbus' ex-husband Allan Arbus, with young Robert Jr. in a small part. See more »


One of the negatives that Mr. Arbus is developing is a Kodak T-MAX 400, which was not available in 1958. See more »


Diane Arbus: Where is your favourite place to be?
Lionel Sweeney: The ocean.
Diane Arbus: Then why don't we go there?
Lionel Sweeney: We will.
See more »


Featured in Siskel & Ebert: The Worst of 2006 (2007) See more »


Sonata in E Minor
Composed by Johann Sebastian Bach (as JS Bach)
Arranged by Barry Joseph
Published by Chesky Productions, Inc.
Courtesy of Manhattan Production Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Fur: A movie that has nothing to do with the life of Diane Arbus
14 June 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Let me start off by saying, I love any and all kinds of movie, I can go into any theatre with an open mind.

That said, what were they thinking? I asked myself this question many, many times. The movie begins in an interesting enough way, with Arbus visiting a nudist colony that she would photograph. The film then jumps back three years to before she was a photographer, and she was nothing more than a half-alive house wife in Manhattan.

Now the fun begins. A mysterious masked man moves into the top floor of the Arbus family apartment building, and Diane is immediately fascinated by him. Who is this strange visitor? None other then Chewbacca! straight from Star Wars Episode III for your viewing pleasure. He seems to have learned English pretty well for the movie.

Actually, it's just a man named Lionel with a disease that makes him grow hair all over his body. He and Arbus become fast friends, being drawn to one another's unconventionality. We are led to believe that Lionel is the one who introduces Arbus to the world that would one day become the subject of her photography.

My question is; didn't Arbus have a fascinating enough life that there was no need to make up this ridiculousness? When I saw the "imaginary" part of "Fur: An Imaginary portrait of Diane Arbus" I thought, well they probably filled in a couple of blanks in her life to make the movie flow better. Don't make my mistake, the story is completely ridiculous and just plain scary at parts. I can only imagine that somewhere, Diane Arbus, like myself and many others, is going "what where they thinking?"

11 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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