Bulimia is on the rise, both nationally and internationally. Yet it is often portrayed in the media almost as a joke, as a kind of "extreme" dieting practiced by models, socialites, and others obsessed with their appearance. It's seen as a rich, white girl's disorder, an illness "heroically" overcome by Jane Fonda, Princess Di, Demi Moore.
In reality, this eating disorder can be as hard to overcome as any addiction -- and it can be a killer. Many of the estimated five to ten million Americans with active eating disorders will die an untimely death from complications which can include cardiac arrest. It affects both men and women, from all walks of life, and is frequently linked to other factors including depression and other mental illnesses, sexuality and gender concerns, and family dynamics. Biochemical causes are suspected in at least some cases.
Inside Out: Stories of Bulimia takes us into the lives of women and men who are struggling to cope with bulimia and its consequences on their health, on their work and play, and on their relationships. It combines interviews and observational footage of each of them, and their family members and partners, with abstract imagery and an original score evoking the feelings of compulsion, confusion, and desperation endemic to the disorder -- but also of humor and the hope of recovery.