The Famine Within

  • 1990
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Documentary

Food, and its consumption, has become a feminist issue, and THE FAMINE WITHIN, a very serious Canadian documentary written, directed and produced by Katherine Gilday, dives into the subject with a vengeance. Despite its largely talking-heads format, THE FAMINE WITHIN provides a sociological/historical overview and a wealth of facts (25 years ago the average...read more

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Food, and its consumption, has become a feminist issue, and THE FAMINE WITHIN, a very serious Canadian documentary written, directed and produced by Katherine Gilday, dives into the subject with a vengeance.

Despite its largely talking-heads format, THE FAMINE WITHIN provides a sociological/historical overview and a wealth of facts (25 years ago the average model weighed 8 percent less than the average woman; today it's 23 percent less) about how the mass media and the culture have been able to set

pervasive, impossible standards for female--and male, although not pursued here--beauty and body type, and the agony experienced by those who fall short, which is just about everyone. Gilday astutely interviews models, their agents and businesswomen, along with feminist Susan Griffin and

psychotherapist Marion Woodman, as to the why, and anorexic, bulimic and otherwise eating-disordered women and girls as to the how: the higher the dress size, the lower the self-esteem. Anorexic Chris Alt, sister of world-famous model Carol, ponders how to get as thin as Karen Carpenter without

actually dying.

THE FAMINE WITHIN is tough-minded and very solemn and more than a little self-possessed, as if the subject had never been talked about before. (For talk, see Henry Jaglom's mostly fictional but docu-like EATING or Dyan Cannon's THE END OF INNOCENCE.) The movie, produced in part by the invaluable

National Film Board of Canada, played the festival route at a running length of two hours before being trimmed for theatrical release in 1991.

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  • Released: 1990
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Food, and its consumption, has become a feminist issue, and THE FAMINE WITHIN, a very serious Canadian documentary written, directed and produced by Katherine Gilday, dives into the subject with a vengeance. Despite its largely talking-heads format, THE… (more)

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