Distributor:  Icarus Films
Length:  50 minutes
Date:  2004
Genre:  Expository
Language:  English
Grade level: College, Adult
Color/BW:  Color
Closed captioning available
Interactive transcript available
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Twenty-two women, ages 6 to 84-years-old, discuss how breasts play a crucial role in the experiences of puberty, motherhood, sex, health, and aging. ** 2002 Outstanding Achievement Award, Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality **


How do women, of all ages and from all backgrounds, feel about their breasts, and how they've played a crucial role in their experiences of puberty, motherhood, sex, health, and aging?

The acclaimed documentary film BREASTS consists of interviews with twenty-two women - aged 6 to 84-years-old - interwoven with segments of breast-related archival footage, including a racy 1920s animated cartoon, a 1950s beauty pageant, and a 1970s bra commercial.

Spadola found her subjects by distributing 'breast questionnaires' throughout New York City in doctors' offices, youth centers, schools, strip clubs and elsewhere. Over two hundred women (and one man) responded. The interviews were filmed by an all-women crew.

The participants, most of whom appear topless, represent a wide range of age, size, race and background. They include an 11-year-old on the verge of puberty; a breast-feeding mother; a 24-year-old with a breast reduction; a stripper with implants; two women with mastectomies; the self-proclaimed leader of the 'Strong Breast Revolution;' a transsexual; a 49-year-old who is concerned about the safety of her silicone implants; a 420-pound comedienne; and two mother-daughter pairs. Their candid thoughts are humorous, moving, and often surprising.

'Recommended! [A] wonderful educational tool.' - Educational Media Reviews Online

'Intensely intimate... a unique and surprisingly commanding look at how the female breast plays a significant role in the experience of womanhood.' - Time Out

'Men and women alike can gain much from watching this, learning to understand the depth of feeling and diversity of form associated with body parts both functional and fetishized, obsessed over and rarely mentioned in 'polite' company.... [Spadola] demonstrate[s] an ability to elicit subtly powerful emotions.' - The Chicago Tribune

''Both funny and profound, not to mention mesmerizing... a true repression buster.' - Premiere

'Spadola elicits candor, humor, and sometimes tragic stories... All the women are articulate and bright, and it's a tribute to the filmmaker that they are comfortable enough to sit for her and talk on such an intimate subject while partially clothed.' - Variety


** 2005 National Women's Studies Association Film Festival
** 2002 Outstanding Achievement Award, Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality
** Gold World Medal, 1997 New York Festival
** Director's Citation, 1997 Black Maria Film Festival


Main credits

Spadola, Meema (film producer)
Spadola, Meema (film director)
Powers, Thom (film producer)
Powers, Thom (film director)

Other credits

Editor, Ann Moore; director of photography, Eileen Schreiber; original music composed by John Davis, Ananda Ellis, Rehana Ellis.

Distributor credits

A Film by Meema Spadola and Thom Powers

Docuseek2 subjects

Gender and Sexuality
Women's Studies
Psychology and Mental Health

Distributor subjects

Closed Captioned
Cultural Studies
Health Issues
Lesbian Studies
Sex and Sexuality
Titles on DVD
Women's Health
Women's Studies


breasts; body image; film; video; documentary; self esteem; sexism; puberty; menopause; implants; masectomy; motherhood; sex; Strong Breast Revolution; silicone; Spadola; "Breasts"; Icarus Films;

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