BENNINGTON — Award-winning documentary film director Bess O'Brien is about to embark on a state-wide tour, including a stop in Bennington, to debut her newest movie.
The film, "All of Me," focuses on the issues of body image and eating disorders, and was produced by Kingdom County Productions, which O'Brien founded alongside filmmaker Jay Craven in 1991.
The screening will take place at the Bennington Free Library at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 23. Tickets are $12 for adults, $7 for youth, and are purchased at the door. The movie runs for 75 minutes. For those who cannot make the Bennington screening, it will also be showing at the Rutland Free Library on Saturday, Oct. 22, and at the Latchis Theater in Brattleboro on Thursday, Oct. 27. Both of those showings are also at 7 p.m.
"'All of Me' focuses on the lives of women, girls and boys who are caught in the downward spiral of eating disorders and their struggle to regain a sense of self-compassion and healing," said O'Brien in a release, "The film also focuses on the parents who struggle with their children around this devastating disease. Although the film focuses primarily on Bulimia and Anorexia, the underlying issues of other eating disorders are touched upon in the film. In addition, 'All of Me' delves deep into the often pervasive ways that food, dieting, and body image affect all of us on a daily basis. Many of us may not be diagnosed with an official eating disorder but struggle with our own histories and insecurities around food and weight."
"I was on a meal plan to gain weight," said "Maddy," one of the subjects of the documentary, "and would have to send my mom photos of the food that I ate when I was home. So I would make my food, and it would be all beautiful, and I would send her the pictures, and she would be like, 'Okay, good job!' Then I would take this beautiful sandwich that I'd made and I would bury it in the backyard, in a hole. That's kind of when you know that you're sick... You're so mentally sick that you don't know how physically sick you are."
O'Brien's last film, "The Hungry Heart," about Vermont's prescription drug crisis, was praised by Gov. Peter Shumlin as the film that served as a catalyst for opiate addiction awareness in the state of Vermont, and received the 2015 Media Award from the American Society of Addiction Medicine and the 2016 National Institute on Drug Abuse Media Award. It has also been nominated for the 2016 PRISM award by the Entertainment Industry Council in Los Angeles.
"Every state in the Union should be so lucky to have Bess O'Brien working for them in support of children and families," said Shumlin in praise of "The Hungry Heart."
Underwriting sponsors for "All of Me" include PEAR (People Education Advocacy Recovery) Vermont, The University of Vermont Health Network, Burlington labs, Vermont Public Radio, and Seven Days.
For more information, to view a trailer of the film, and to see all screening dates, visit kingdomcounty.org/eating-disorder-documentary.
Contact Derek Carson at 802-447-7567, ext. 122.