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Breasts is a 50-minute
documentary from 1996, released on DVD in 2006 with about 20 minutes of
outtakes and a 10-minute interview with the filmmakers.† Most of the film
consists of interviews with 22 women talking about their breasts.† Most are
interviewed on their own, but some are mothers with a daughter.† Most are white
and adults, but there's a diversity in the subjects: some are African-American,
some are younger, some are older.† A few of the women have had
breast-enlargement, and one had breast-reduction.† They talk about puberty,
sexuality, relationships, having small, or large breasts, breast feeding, bras,
breast cancer, mastectomies, their feelings of pride and shame, and getting
used to how they look and feel.† Most of the women are shown without their
bras, although their breasts are not always in frame.† The women talk freely
and openly; they are occasionally embarrassed or awkward, but they are eloquent
and full of expression, and often they laugh.† The tone is also kept quite
light by the clips from old movies, advertisements, and informational films
between the different sections.†
As the filmmakers say in their
interview on the DVD extras, men will not normally get to hear women talking
about their breasts in this open way.† Women may also be unused to talking with
other women about their breasts.† Of course, different women have different
kinds of experience, and viewers get a real sense of this diversity.† It's a
refreshing film because of the honesty of the women.† At some points, women
talk about their dislike of their breasts, especially those who have had breast
enlargements that was not successful, and they find it painful to open
themselves up emotionally, yet they are still very articulate in explaining
their feelings.† At other points, they talk about how they really enjoy having
breasts or come to love the changes in their bodies.† While there are probably
no great revelations about how women feel about their breasts, Breasts
is an absorbing documentary that broaches a rarely-discussed topic.
The bonus footage is in the same
vein as the material in the original documentary, and is just as good.† The
interview with the filmmakers was done recently, and they talk about how they
went about making the film, as well as the responses they got from both men and
women.† These extras make the DVD worth getting.†
© 2006 Christian
Perring. All rights reserved.
Perring, Ph.D., is Academic Chair of the Arts & Humanities
Division and Chair of the Philosophy Department at Dowling College, Long Island. He is also editor of Metapsychology Online Reviews. His main
research is on philosophical issues in medicine, psychiatry and psychology.
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