PAULA (Melbourne IFF 2023) – Review by Nadine Whitney

Paula does a generally good job of explaining the insidious nature of eating disorders and how every aggression, micro and macro, fuels them. It isn’t just aggression that fuels eating disorders but also the community that awards thinness. Wehbe turns that community into a group of bloggers (and if you look into the internet there are many pro-anorexia sites), but it’s really the whole of society that does it. The film is didactic but necessary. Wehbe’s opening with the teenage girls on the first day of school is actually a pean to their burgeoning loveliness, it proves that they are beautiful despite acne or extra pounds.

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