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BREASTS

USA, 1996 (MIFF 1997, Documentaries)

Director: Meema Spadola

Gondolas, bazongas, marshmallow moun­tains, snack trays, baby bottles, puppies with pink noses, cha chas...Over 200 women, and one man, responded to filmmaker Meema Spadola's 'Breast Questionnaires' distributed to doctors' surgeries, youth centres, schools and strip clubs in New York City.

Breasts is a portrait-montage of 22 women aged between 6 and 84 who discuss the crucial role breasts play in their lives. Participants talk candidly about size, shape, silicone, mother­hood, mastectomies, power, pleasure, the Pencil Test and the notion of a Strong Breast Revolu­tion. Mother and daughter pairs swap stories; a large-breasted woman takes us through her bras for every occasion; a stripper speaks about the professional importance of her 'tools'; an 11 year old discusses her training bra and a woman of 84 reflects on how a double mastectomy has shaped her relationships with men.

Wittily intercut with retro bra advertisements, a racy 1920s cartoon and beauty pageant footage from the 1950s. Breasts is a clever, poignant and upbeat tribute to mammarian diversity.

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