THIN

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The 2006 cinéma vérité documentary film, THIN, directed by Lauren Greenfield and distributed by HBO, is an exploration of The Renfrew Center in Coconut Creek, Florida; a 40-bed residential facility for the treatment of women with eating disorders. The film mostly revolves around four women with anorexia nervosa and/or bulimia and their struggles for recovery.

THIN is the centerpiece of a multi-faceted campaign designed to explore issues surrounding body image and eating disorders, including a companion book, traveling exhibition of Greenfield’s work and a website.

Having already shot photographs at Renfrew for her book Girl Culture, Greenfield returned to the facility to direct THIN, her directorial debut, which she produced in collaboration with producer R.J. Cutler.

Living at the center for six months, Greenfield and director of photography Amanda Micheli received unrestricted access, filming not just the therapy sessions, mealtimes and daily weigh-ins that construct the highly structured routine of inpatients’ daily lives, but also exploring their turbulent interpersonal relationships with each other, with family and with staff. Access to staff meetings allows us insight into the efforts of the Renfrew medical team and the complex tasks facing them.

The making of the documentary THIN was a continuation of a decade-long exploration of body image and the way the female body has become a primary expression of identity for girls and women in our time. I am intrigued by the way the female body has become a tablet on which our culture’s conflicting messages about femininity are written and rewritten.

THIN, 9.4 out of 10 based on 46 ratings

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  • Karen

    What is it that Americans have against universal healthcare?

    How awful for those girls who had to quit treatment just because their insurance ran out.

    It’s pathetic that such a wealthy nation would rather have the government bail out banks than ensure decent healthcare for all.

    • Amandaswimgirl

      Yes because universal health care has worked soo well in europe (in case you missed it that was sarcasm)

      • NotIgnorant

        In Australia it’s kind of amazing. Just saying.

        • http://www.facebook.com/imcorbin.fath Im’corbin Fath

          Also in Canada it is pretty good here.

      • Mars

        It did, actually. It still does.

  • Nea

    How old are these girls? Polly acts like she’s twelve. I can’t believe how immature they are. It disgusts me.

    • Alex

      You seem to fail to understand the disorder. And the people who are generally afflicted by it.

      Read a book.

      • Emilytheginga

         I’d love to read a book with you, any day of the week.

    • Emilytheginga

       It’s probably regression…they’re behaviour regresses back to a time where they could cope better. Also you’re an asshole. Almost forgot to mention that, SILLY ME!

  • Bek

    “Nea”, must you be so ignorant?

  • Hallosaurus

    How moving. The most irritating thing to me, coming from Europe, was that the girls had to stop treatment because their insurance would not pay any longer. How sad and how pathetic the US system is, and how ignorant of those who oppose a european style health insurance system.

    Here we see that people may die due to this way of thinking… A thing unthinkable for any European.

    • Alex

      It ensures the rich live long enough to rewrite history. And so the poor can stay sick and forcefully employed.

    • Kate

      I feel the same way. I don’t get it. The US is so backward when it comes to healthcare.

  • Avery

    Nea, how ignorant of you to say that,
    after watching a documentary on a mental health issue, you say they are immature? Clearly you didn’t finish the whole thing, as Polly committed suicide after the film was made. This is a disease, not easily cured.
    And in every way possible i strongly disagree. What an outrage to be kicked out of treatment due to insurance. No eating disorder is cured after a few weeks or months. It takes years, possibly decades!
    But very informative and accurate documentary!

  • gordon schneider

    I wonder if people with anorexia have ever been medicated with cannabis seems to me it might help, maybe not but worth a shot considering how deadly the disease is. and all these comments about how ignorant it is of america to not have universal health care are only due to a fundamental misunderstanding of how the world actually works.its good that you care for these girls but it simply wouldnt work in america. i garuntee it would only make things worse. if you logically think through it step by step you see it cant work. America is in a unique postion that cannot be related to the situation of any state in europe.

    • Alex

      And why should we even try. It’s not like we live in a Republic. With an amendable constitution.

      It’s an Oligarchy actually. And yes you are right , this is why it wouldn’t work.

    • Kate

      There is no reason why it wouldn’t work. The people who say it won’t work are those who benefit from it staying as it is.

      • Alnor122

        Exactly.

      • Alnor122

        Exactly.

      • Alnor122

        Exactly.

    • Jenn

      The reason why it wouldn’t work is becuase you don’t treat addiction with addiction. Cannabis does not increase hunger, it increases appetite. People with eating disorders have an exceptional appetite, thus why a common symptom is constantly talking about food and things related to food. They are used to ignoring or supplementing hunger and appetite with alternatives. A little bit of bunches is not even a hiccup in the disease they cope with every day. If anything, cannabis may make their condition worse because it tends to take your mind off of things if you so wish it too..allows you to zone out. This could be used as a hunger or appetite distraction.

  • thekingbeyondthegate

    Feel sorry for Polly. Reminds me of when I was kicked out of school for no reason. That same cold emotionless voice that tells you they won’t change their decision no matter what. The way they act like they still have your best interests at heart but you know they’ve already basically forgotten about you. The helpless feeling that you’ve can’t do anything.

  • thekingbeyondthegate

    Feel sorry for Polly. Reminds me of when I was kicked out of school for no reason. That same cold emotionless voice that tells you they won’t change their decision no matter what. The way they act like they still have your best interests at heart but you know they’ve already basically forgotten about you. The helpless feeling that you’ve can’t do anything.

  • vcx

    you guys hear 50% of all americans are gonna be obese?  and you want national healthcare?  to pay for some nascar fan’s quarter pounder & triple bypass combo meal?

    im proud of htese girls, the human bone structure is beautiful and i hope they do not surrender to pressure and cultural hatred of beautiful slender women.

  • vcx

    you guys hear 50% of all americans are gonna be obese?  and you want national healthcare?  to pay for some nascar fan’s quarter pounder & triple bypass combo meal?

    im proud of htese girls, the human bone structure is beautiful and i hope they do not surrender to pressure and cultural hatred of beautiful slender women.

    • Jojo

      sick people like you encourage women to starve to become ‘beautiful slender women’. Anorexia kills.

    • Emilytheginga

       I don’t even know what to say to you. So you can’t be in the middle? It’s either skin and bone or GTFO? You realize these disorders don’t just effect weight? It does horrific long term damage that can never be healed.

  • Iuhfh

    man i hate some of the staff at these types of places, they just seem really bitchy and very power driven. speaking from the experience of being in a centre kindof like this, it really just makes the whole experience of depression and anxiety worse when your being controlled by people who come across as uncompassionate

  • Iuhfh

    turning the people there against eachother, kicking someone out for getting a tattoo, c’mon i think thats a bit rediculous. & this place is supposed to be making people feel better about themselves….

    • ADM

      I understand the risk about tattoos and piercings. What if it got infected? Their immune systems can’t handle something like that and they may have to be hospitalized. These girls need structure to get back on track and breaking the rules means they’ll stay as they are now: dying.

  • banm

    staffs a bitch. they’re so self centered. when someone is struggling as hard to force themselves to do something they dont want to they need to be genuinely supported- not of you cant be friends with so and so and safety this . shut up. these girls are stressed . let them socialize . i hate that one staff lady with heavy eyeliner who flat out said she didnt trust shelly. she is so rude. this is a patient for goodness sake, be a little grateful for your job and a little compassionate for someone who is battling through

  • Emilytheginga

    I think this doctumentary should be called something like “Americas fucked up insurance polices” or something like that. I don’t see the point of a place taking on someone like that then kicking them out before they’re ready. They either die or go stright back to the way they were when they first arrived. And it takes a long time ot put weight on. And each time they go through a bout of being dangerously over weight it damages they’re organs and muscles and they’re bones as well as they’re feritlity.
    I hope something changes soon, they need a super rich celebrity to fund they place lol.

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