Hey Austin and Chicago! Judy Norsigian, founder and executive director of Our Bodies Ourselves, and film director Carol Ciancutti-Leyva are heading to your cities to host a screening and discussion of the acclaimed documentary “Absolutely Safe,” examining the controversy over breast implant safety. The screenings are free and open to the public.
The Austin event kicks off at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 19, at the University of Texas at Austin AVAYA Auditorium (ACE 2.302).
The Chicago screening takes place on Thursday, March 21, at 5:30 p.m. at the UIC School of Public Health auditorium. Registration is requested by UIC.
Absolutely Safe follows the stories of two women, one who wants to have her leaking silicone implants removed and the other looking to have breast augmentation. The viewer meets plastic surgeons who are for and against the surgery, women who have suffered from silicone implants (including the mother of director Carol Ciancutti-Leyva), and members of the FDA committee who determine whether or not to allow silicone back on the market.
“All along the viewer feels powerfully the impact pressures to be beautiful have and have had on American women,” says gender studies expert Diana York Blaine. “Breast implants clearly ‘solve’ the problem while introducing myriad new ones. . . . This film makes starkly clear that the female sense of inadequacy is not an individual phenomenon. Institutionalized sexism affects all of us. Destroying our health seems to be an acceptable solution.”
Here’s more about this unforgettable film; also read what Ciancutti-Leyva wrote about why and how she undertook this project. Hope you’ll join us in person!
At a time when more women than ever are getting breast implants, fewer voices than ever seem to be asking “Why?” And fewer still are asking “Are they safe?” ABSOLUTELY SAFE takes an open-minded, personal approach to the controversy over breast implant safety. Ultimately, ABSOLUTELY SAFE is the story of everyday women who find themselves and their breasts in the tangled and confusing intersection of health, money, science and beauty.
At its heart, ABSOLUTELY SAFE is driven by the experience of the filmmaker’s own mother. Diagnosed in 1974 with breast tumors, Audrey Ciancutti underwent a double mastectomy with silicone-implant reconstruction surgery. A year later, her implants ruptured, and soon after, her health steadily declined. Like thousands of other women, Audrey believes her debilitating illnesses—joint pain, chronic fatigue, scleroderma — are linked to her breast implants; however, most doctors and researchers deny this link. Among the debate by plastic surgeons, toxicologists, attorneys, implant manufacturers, whistle blowers, government officials and activists, ABSOLUTELY SAFE introduces more everyday women like Audrey who make choices about their breasts in our appearance driven culture.
To learn more about the risks of breast implants, see Breast Implant Safety.