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An exploration of the history and politics of breast obsession in America, and its connection with breast cancer, breastfeeding and body image.
Directed by Francine Strickwerda and Laurel Spellman Smith
Produced by Stir it Up Productions LLC
Director of Photography and Editor: Roy Wilson Original score: Erik Aho
"In a country where a flash of breast on television can incur a crackdown of puritanical proportions, BUSTING OUT may be the proper antidote." International Documentary Magazine
Note: This special offer is available only to breast cancer support groups, women's health groups and the like.
BUSTING OUT is a disarmingly honest and intimate exploration of our society's fascination with women's breasts. Directors Strickwerda and Spellman Smith unflinchingly examine the good, the bad and the ugly sides of this American icon, delving into the history and politics of breast obsession in the US. From breast-crazy men shouting "Flash those racks!" to the fears of breast cancer and the disparate attitudes of cultures worldwide, the directors leave no stone unturned in their quest to demystify the American breast.
BUSTING OUT combines personal story-telling with devastating analysis, sad case histories with humor, and frank talk of sexual subjects with the sweet innocence of a young girl shopping for her first bra.
Told from the point of view of Strickwerda who lost her mother to breast cancer as a child, BUSTING OUT will challenge both women and men to question our obsession with breasts, and to gain a healthier perspective.
Grade Level: 10-12, College, Adult
US Release Date: 2005
Copyright Date: 2004
DVD ISBN: 1-59458-254-8
VHS ISBN: 1-59458-253-X
Reviews "I love Busting Out! [It] is a riveting documentary that exposes all the contradictions women face as they navigate their relationships with their bodies. The filmmakers capture multi-generational and multi-cultural perspectives among women as they face a culture that over-sexualizes their breasts. The film encourages women to define for themselves their relationship with their breasts. I plan to use the film as part of an inquiry of body image and the politics of women's health."
Jill Eichhorn, Assoc. Prof. of English and Women's Studies, Austin Peay State University
"BUSTING OUT wittily, poignantly balances the political and the personal."
- The Pioneer Press, St. Paul, MN
"[An] informative, entertaining and, at times, touching look at what it means to have breasts in a culture that values them as sex objects above all else....Although the subject is fem-centric, the film is intended for men as well. Topics like fatherhood (how men react when their little girls hit puberty) and what they go through when their partners have breast cancer are handled with clarity."
- The Seattle Post-Intelligencer
"Delves into the American obsession with breasts through a mix of cheeky humor, historical detail and striking intimacy...Busting Out will strike a poignant and personal chord with women because many of Strickwerda's experiences, and those described throughout the film, are universal. And yet the work is also successful because it resonates with men as well. Ultimately the doc is a celebration of womanhood from a distinctly 21st-century perspective."
Awards and Festivals Seattle International Film Festival
Ashland Independent Film Festival
Women in the Director's Chair International Film Festival
Everett Women's Film Festival
Central Standard Film Festival
... more Reviews
- City Pages, Minneapolis
"Entertaining and thoughtful...it touches on a number of topics on the general subject of breasts...with wit and candor."
- The Seattle Times
"What is it about breasts that we find so titillating? Francine Strickwerda, who lost her mother to breast cancer at the age of six, tries to find the answer. We learn that it is a largely Western phenomena that began during the and spread with the introduction of formula in the 19th century - today less than 60% of women nurse their children. And as women strive for the perfect bra to lift and separate, or undergo breast reductions, or augmentation, breasts have become both big business and a major source of anxiety. More troubling is the shocking toll of breast cancer: in the US, more women have died from it in 20 years than all American servicemen in all the major wars of the 20th century combined. Busting Out is enlightening, informative, humorous and moving. Everyone who owns a pair should see it."
- Ursic, GioChannel.com
"In an intimate documentary exploring the female breast through prepubescent development, breast feeding, cancer, and burlesque performances, Busting Out is layered with vignettes and personal stories of the maker and her struggle to make peace with a part of her she regarded as a death sentence."
- Women in the Director's Chair Film Festival Program
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