THIS SCREENING IS PART OF THE RATED Y SERIES AND WILL INCLUDE A POST-FILM DISCUSSION. NO MEMBERSHIP REQUIRED. OPEN TO YOUTH UNDER 18.
“What do you know about fat people, what do you think you know?”
A primer on one of the most widespread prejudices, directors Lindsey Averill and Viridiana Lieberman’s sharp treatise tackles the subject from a multiplicity of different perspectives including race, class, and gender. Fat stereotypes start early, as a cavalcade of clips reveal — from Disney films to Scooby Doo, Miss Piggy to Jabba the Hut, fat has traditionally been presented as monstrous and terrifying. Writer and activist Lindy West (author of Shrill) notes, “Those are your choices, sex pig or squid witch. Why can’t I just be a lady?”
While larger people often have only a few options available in the roles they are assigned in film and media (either they are the funny sidekick or the super-sized villain), far worse is simply being invisible. As one interviewee remarks in science fiction scenarios of the future, there are no fat people at all.
Featuring interviews and analyses from a broad range of writers, academics, activists, and artists, Fattitude assails a complex tangle of cultural and social constructs — everything from economic status to the politics of being seen. Larger people are expected to strive actively for thinness, as the only acceptable way to exist. One interviewee calls this “performing cultural compliance.” The film is much more than a polemic, it is a call to action, and a reminder of the power of collective action and inclusion. Taking up space and demanding change can be fierce — and often incredibly fun! -DW