Anorexia is a vital example of how cinema, as a medium, can focus light on society’s devastating challenges. To put it plainly, anorexia is an eating disorder characterised by an abnormally low body weight, a fear of overeating and severe measures used in an attempt to sustain this terrible sense of worthlessness and inadequacy. Additionally, anorexics tend to have low self-esteem because of cultural goods like books and movies, to name just two examples. As a result, the media has a responsibility to be more inclusive when it comes to body type ideals. They have to get away from these stale and offensive ideas. There are far-reaching repercussions for human welfare and body positivity because of the false appearance of beauty in brochures and billboards.
There hasn’t been much sensitive filmmaking on anorexia, as should be acknowledged. Relying on outdated clichés and preconceptions can even occur in well-intentioned films. Inclusion and acknowledgement, on the other hand, can serve as a covert indicator of the project’s seriousness.
The media must be daring and honest about the topic itself in order to properly address a complex issue without resorting to clichés. In their own unique ways, the following films are exactly that. But their very existence is what most adds to their bravery and honesty right from the start. When these films were made, they allowed for anorexia to be discussed openly and compassionately, as it had always been meant to be. The following is a list of films that deal with the topic of eating disorders. On Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime, you may be able to locate some of the best anorexia movies.
8. To the Bone (2017)
Marty Noxon’s drama, which stars Lily Collins, is marked by a meticulous performance. The truthful, if misguided, picture is a cut above the rest when it comes to opening up frank dialogues about anorexia. Anorexia is depicted in an over-the-top environment, yet the film’s message is anchored in honesty and determination. Collins’ metamorphosis was strikingly similar to that of Noxon, who had been battling an eating disorder of his own. Despite her sassy demeanor, she nevertheless manages to convey an undeniable tenderness.
7. 301, 302 (1995)
Anorexic writer Yun-Hee (Hwang Shin-hye) and chef Song-Hee (Bang Eun-jin) are the stars of Park Chul-Korean soo’s supernatural thriller ‘301, 302’. Their dysfunctional relationship is the focus of the film. At times, this video captures the anorexic community’s harsh treatment in a way that is almost poetic in nature. For Best Foreign Language Film at the 1995 Academy Awards, South Korea’s entry for “The Way Home” is haunting but captivating, and one that is particularly unforgettable.
6. Thin (2006)
“Thin” by Lauren Greenfield uses the no-nonsense and direct approach of “cinéma vérité” to represent anorexia, bulimia, and other eating disorders with an uncomfortably honest but necessary truth. The film centers mostly on Shelly, a psychiatric nurse; Polly, a lobbyist; Brittany, a student; and Alisa, a housewife at The Renfrew Center in Florida. It’s refreshing to see a film that doesn’t romanticize their afflictions. In the documentary, four women and the people who care for them illustrate the lives of those whose lives have been impacted by such events. You won’t find any easy or convenient solutions here, but an honest approach that goes against the grain of conventional wisdom.
5. Dying to Dance (2001)
“Dying to Dance” was released on television, but like many good movies on anorexia, it didn’t get a wider audience. Alyssa (Kimberly McCullough), an adolescent ballerina, is the focus of this emotional drama, directed by Mark Haber, about her persistent desire to realize her ambition of becoming a renowned ballerina. As she battles with anorexia and her demanding parents, as well as in her romantic life, her desire proves to be her undoing. Dominic Zamprogna, Mary-Margaret Humes, and Natalija Nogulich, to name a few, provide excellent backing for McCullough’s portrayal.
4. The Best Little Girl in the World (1981)
An adaptation of Steven Levenkron’s “The Best Little Girl in the World” was made by Sam O’Steen, an American filmmaker. Actress Jennifer Jason Leigh plays Casey, the family’s ideal virtuous daughter, in this TV movie. Gail’s more rambunctious older sister, Gail, is increasingly being looked after by her parents (Lisa Pelikan). In the role of Casey’s parents, Eva Marie Saint and Charles Durning pull it off admirably.
As Casey struggles with anorexia and bulimia as a result of her inability to pay attention, Leigh’s subtle acting takes us through her fears and bonds with her pals. Our sympathies are piqued, but the story’s weight isn’t lost in the process. As a whole, this is a really well-reasoned analysis of the subject matter under discussion.
3. When Friendship Kills (1996)
As part of NBC’s ‘Moment of Truth’ television movie series in the 1990s, ‘When Friendship Kills’ was released. They all shared a common theme of confronting a sad, dark, or repulsive truth in their plot. As a result, one can experience a flash of insight or insight, or even a revelation of some sort.
An unhealthy eating habit takes hold of 16-year-old Alexis Archer, played by Katie Wright in the film, following her parents’ divorce. Anorexia nervosa is caused by her deceitful ways of lying to her mother (Lynda Carter) and her collapse after excessive crash dieting. The movie focuses on her collapse and eventual rise. For James A. Contner, anorexia is depicted through the deep mother-daughter relationship and Alexis’ close friendship with Jennifer (Marley Shelton).
2. For the Love of Nancy (1994)
In ‘For the Love of Nancy,’ the actor and character share a common life experience, which is an uncommon and amazing occurrence. When she worked on this television film, Tracey Gold was in recovery from anorexia. she created Nancy Walsh as a vehicle for her own personal pain and anguish. As the audience watches Nancy’s descent into self-destruction, they feel a sense of estrangement. Gold’s portrayal of the character is heartbreaking on the highest level. The film will be even more moving for those who are aware of her well-documented struggle with anorexia.
Nancy’s concerns are linked to her parents’ initial disdain of her and her reluctance to accept aid. Her awful predicament is only made bearable by her parents’ compassionate change of heart. Paul Schneider has a great deal of self-assurance and decency in dealing with this sensitive subject matter.
1. Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story (1987)
Iconic documentary on singer Karen Carpenter’s death by Todd Haynes caused an outcry when it was released in 1987. For the film’s metaphoric mood, Haynes used Barbie dolls instead of real actors, which was an innovative approach. Foreboding was conveyed by the use of gloomy colors in the subtitles. She died of anorexia as a result of a deceitful and controlling environment created by him around the talented and troubled vocalist.
Karen’s brother and musical partner Richard has filed a copyright infringement case against Haynes over the use of several of his songs in the film. Many of these films have enjoyed a long and flourishing history on bootleg cassettes, as well as the internet. Even in the face of indefinite disbarment, this experimental drama retains its singularly atmospheric quality and serves as a testament to Haynes’ iconoclasm and perception as a director.