Linda Montano (b. 1942)
Anorexia Nervosa (1981)
1981 | 01:01:30 | United States | English | Color | Mono | 4:3 | Video

Through the testimonies of five women, this video lays out the complex problem of anorexia, detailing how the disease develops as a response to both personal and societal pressures. The common thread in these accounts is how the disease clusters around a need to control one’s body, and how not-eating becomes a way to gain that control, with anxieties and frustrations being displaced onto a negative obsession with food. Perhaps the most disturbing issue raised by the video is the pleasure these women take in their self-starvation, the way in which the disease circulates back into itself in a cycle of self-destruction, bringing these women near-death, breaking them both physically and mentally. The last woman to speak is Montano herself, who describes her own bout with an eating disorder and how she became addicted to the “high” that comes from not eating.