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Breasts: A Documentary

A Film by Meema Spadola & Thom Powers

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How do women, of all ages and from all backgrounds, feel about their breasts, and how they've played a crucial role in their experiences of puberty, motherhood, sex, health, and aging?

The acclaimed documentary film BREASTS consists of interviews with twenty-two women - aged 6 to 84-years-old - interwoven with segments of breast-related archival footage, including a racy 1920s animated cartoon, a 1950s beauty pageant, and a 1970s bra commercial.

Spadola found her subjects by distributing "breast questionnaires" throughout New York City in doctors' offices, youth centers, schools, strip clubs and elsewhere. Over two hundred women (and one man) responded. The interviews were filmed by an all-women crew.

film still

The participants, most of whom appear topless, represent a wide range of age, size, race and background. They include an 11-year-old on the verge of puberty; a breast-feeding mother; a 24-year-old with a breast reduction; a stripper with implants; two women with mastectomies; the self-proclaimed leader of the "Strong Breast Revolution;" a transsexual; a 49-year-old who is concerned about the safety of her silicone implants; a 420-pound comedienne; and two mother-daughter pairs. Their candid thoughts are humorous, moving, and often surprising.

"Recommended! [A] wonderful educational tool." —Educational Media Reviews Online

"Intensely intimate… a unique and surprisingly commanding look at how the female breast plays a significant role in the experience of womanhood." Time Out

"Men and women alike can gain much from watching this, learning to understand the depth of feeling and diversity of form associated with body parts both functional and fetishized, obsessed over and rarely mentioned in 'polite' company.... [Spadola] demonstrate[s] an ability to elicit subtly powerful emotions." The Chicago Tribune

""Both funny and profound, not to mention mesmerizing… a true repression buster." Premiere

"Spadola elicits candor, humor, and sometimes tragic stories... All the women are articulate and bright, and it's a tribute to the filmmaker that they are comfortable enough to sit for her and talk on such an intimate subject while partially clothed." Variety

2005 National Women's Studies Association Film Festival
2002 Outstanding Achievement Award, Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality
Gold World Medal, 1997 New York Festival
Director's Citation, 1997 Black Maria Film Festival

50 minutes / Color
Release: 2004
Copyright: 1997

For colleges, universities, government agencies, hospitals and corporations

This DVD is sold with a license for institutional use and Public Performance rights.

Subject areas:
Adolescence, Aging, Anthropology, Biology, Closed Captioned, Health Issues, Lesbian Studies, Psychology, Sex & Sexuality, Titles on DVD, Women's Health, Women's Studies, Cultural Studies

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