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Australia 2007
Directed by
Kim Farrant
81 minutes
Rated PG

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
4 stars

Naked On The Inside

Kim Farrant’s documentary is simple in concept but stunning in effect. The director has found 6 people who all in one way or another have body issues and gotten them to reflect on their life experience, remove their clothes, and reveal a physical nakedness that is an analog to the emotional nakedness they have displayed before the camera. Thus we have a transgender Sunday school teacher, struggling to naturalize his hybrid female/male physique, a tattooed LA gang member trying to break away from his sub-cultural identity, a woman with breast cancer, a former supermodel trying to regain her real body, a “fat activist” and a dancer with no legs.

Farrant coaxes each one along a process of self–reflection and self-revelation that is quite remarkable. Not all the segments work as well as each other with the Hispanic gang member the least engaging (I first saw this documentary on SBS TV and his portions had been edited out) but overall it is a remarkable portrait of the human condition insofar as it means reconciling ourselves with other people’s appearance-based judgements of us . From former super-model Carré Otis talking about the difference between image and reality in her seeming perfect world to the extraordinary self-exposure of Brisbane mother, Rick Stray, who struggles with breast cancer and the remarkable Dave Toole who has parlayed a major physical  handicap into an international career, Naked On The Inside is a wonderful antidote to self-pity.

DVD Extras: Director's Commentary; Interview with Kim Farrant; Outtakes;  Popcorn Taxi Q&A with producer Ian Walker and director Kim Farrant hosted by Megan Spencer.

Available from: Madman




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