(103 minutes) USA
Director: Lauren Greenfield
Producers: R.J. Cutler, Lauren Greenfield, Amanda Micheli, and Ted Skillman
Thin investigates disordered eating. In the past two decades, eating disorders have reached epidemic levels in America. Once downplayed as a disease of fashion or vanity, it is now recognized as a serious mental illness that causes immeasurable suffering to those afflicted, their families, and friends. The film focuses on four young women struggling with anorexia: Brittany, a 15 year-old who strives to be thin to gain acceptance among her peers, and who's mother has also suffered with the disease; Shelly, 25, who has been battling anorexia for six years, and who enters Renfrew with a feeding tube surgically implanted in her stomach; Alisa, 30, a divorced mother of two who has struggled for decades with a relentless compulsion to purge; and Polly, 29, who has spent years in and out of treatment. What emerges is a portrait of an illness that is frustrating in its complexity and devastating in the pain it inflicts on its sufferers and those who care for them. Unflinching and incisive, Thin offers an experiential and emotional journey through the world of eating disorders and, ultimately, provides a greater understanding of their complexity: that they are not simply about food or body image or self-esteem, but a tangle of personal, familial, cultural, and mental health issues.
A well-respected chronicler of youth culture in the photography world, Lauren Greenfield's documentary work has gained international exposure in her books, museum exhibitions, and magazine publications. American Photo recently named Greenfield one of the 25 most influential photographers working today. Greenfield is the author of two photographic monographs, Girl Culture (Chronicle, 2002) and Fast Forward (Knopf, 1997). Her debut monograph, Fast Forward Growing Up in the Shadow of Hollywood, became a best-selling photography book (Knopf, 1997) and received the Community Awareness Award from the National Press Photographers'. Greenfield graduated from Harvard in 1987 and started her career as an intern for National Geographic. Since then, her photographs have been regularly published in magazines including the New York Times Magazine, Time, The New Yorker, Harper's, National Geographic, Harper's Bazaar, American Photo, French Photo, Stern, and the London Sunday Times Magazine. In 1993, Greenfield received a grant sponsored by National Geographicófor a personal project about L.A. youth that became Fast Forward. Her work has been honored by several other major awards and grants, including the 1997 ICP Infinity Award for Young Photographer, the Nikon Sabbatical Grant, the 1999 Hasselblad Grant, and the ìPeople's Choiceî award at the Moscow Biennial.
Lauren Greenfield Photography
©2006 United Nations Association Film Festival (UNAFF)