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photo Inside Out
Stories of Bulimia
By Michelle Blair
Inside Out Films

Bulimia is on the rise, both nationally and internationally. Yet it is often portrayed in the media almost as a joke, as a kind of "extreme" dieting practiced by models, socialites, and others obsessed with their appearance. It's seen as a rich, white girl's disorder, an illness "heroically" overcome by Jane Fonda, Princess Di, Demi Moore.

In reality, this eating disorder can be as hard to overcome as any addiction — and it can be a killer. Many of the estimated five to ten million Americans with active eating disorders will die an untimely death from complications which can include cardiac arrest. It affects both men and women, from all walks of life, and is frequently linked to other factors including depression and other mental illnesses, sexuality and gender concerns, and family dynamics. Biochemical causes are suspected in at least some cases.

This documentary takes us into the lives of women and men who are struggling to cope with bulimia and its consequences on their health, on their work and play, and on their relationships. It combines interviews and observational footage of each of them, and their family members and partners, with abstract imagery and an original score evoking the feelings of compulsion, confusion, and desperation endemic to the disorder — but also of humor and the hope of recovery.

56 minutes
© 2002
Purchase $229.00 DVD
Order No. QA-366
ISBN (DVD) 1-57295-856-1
close captioned

"Takes us inside the experience of those who suffer so painfully with eating problems. Despite the pain, we see the courage of each individual's struggle to find some peace with their eating and their bodies." Susie Orbach, author, Fat Is a Feminist Issue

"Presents an honest, responsible, sensitive but no-nonsense picture of bulimia. It cuts across all lines: diagnostic, gender, age, sexual orientation, to give the viewer a true sense of the life of a bulimic, making clear the fact that the sufferer is never entirely free of its grip." Dolly Moon, MA, CSW,BCD

"Captured the essence and the 'truth' about bulimia. The words are so familiar and ring with much gusto and pathos." Jill Pollack, MSW, Director, Center for the Study of Anorexia and Bulimia

"A thought-provoking and beautifully-conceived film. A must-see for anyone who has struggled with eating disorders and the existential questions at the root of all addictions." Elizabeth Thompson, Emmy-Award winning filmmaker (Blink)

"A good addition to health sciences collections in higher education, particularly for nutrition, nursing, psychology and social work courses. It does a good job at presenting the variety of people that are afflicted with bulimia as well as how easily it infiltrates a life and how hard it is to stop. An excellent classroom discussion starter." Educational Media Reviews

"A truly inside look at this insidious disease. A solid addition to health sciences collections in a variety of libraries, including clinical and high school settings." Library Journal

"An intimate look at a little-understood disease. Recommended." Video Librarian

"Spellbinding! My daughter and I were speechless. Awakening and definitely worth watching for relatives of a bulimic." B.L., Mother of a bulimic

Awards & Conference Screenings
International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals
Western Psychological Association
Arizona International Film Festival
Bronze Award, National Health Information Awards
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Sacramento Film Festival

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Shadows and Lies: This powerful and honest documentary profiles four women who are working themselves free from the deadly grip of eating disorders, and from the overwhelming physical and psychological complications associated with these deadly diseases.

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Awards & Screenings

Related Films

Web Resources

To rent or purchase this film, please visit the Icarus Films website