Dir: Halit Levy | Doc | Israel | 53’
Tel Avivi filmmaker and counsellor Halit is obese and she feels defined by it despite her humour, appealing personality and talent evident in this colourful documentary which she made and narrates herself. She’s happy in her body, and of being a lesbian in love with her life partner Chen, but fat is something you cannot hide – it’s the ultimate taboo, the elephant in the room. I’M FAT is a straight-talking and illuminating film exploring in the issues surrounding obesity today.
The problem is clearly visual, like baldness but unlike sexual identity or even infertility – that are not readily apparent until you delve deeper – fat is literally in your face, and can’t be disguised.
Halit does not feel diminished by her state but she is clearly bugged by it enough to express how it affects her life and describes her journey towards change. Through talking with various therapists what comes to light is fascinating and also tragic: in Halit’s case sexual abuse as a child could be the root cause of her condition, it left her with a deep-seated need for control and self-protection.
I’M FAT is well made and absorbing putting its points across simply and clearly as it debates the questions raised. Reuven Brodsky’s camera gets out and about in the seaside capital offering a rich flavour of the vibrant modern metropolis that is Tel Aviv. The documentary’s psychological insights will be of interest to all audiences helping society as a whole understand the complex issues that often lie behind obesity and at just under an hour it doesn’t overstay its welcome with a positive and convincing finale. MT
SCREENING DURING IDFA | 15-26 november 2017