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HomeHealth & FitnessUnveiling the Unfiltered Truth: "Our Body" Review Explores Women's Health | Movies

Unveiling the Unfiltered Truth: “Our Body” Review Explores Women’s Health | Movies

Claire Simon, the filmmaker, takes on the role of the camera operator in this remarkable film Our Body movie

She adopts the traditional verity approach, acting as an observant fly on the wall, capturing consultations and procedures in a women’s health, obstetrics, and gynaecology ward at a Parisian hospital. However, a significant shift occurs two-thirds into the 168-minute film when Simon turns the camera on herself upon discovering she also has cancer, much like some of the individuals she has been documenting.

Simon’s decision to share her struggle is noteworthy, especially considering the vulnerability and courage displayed by the patients who allowed her – and the audience – into their deeply personal moments throughout the film.

In accordance with a certain sequence, the initial women we encounter are expecting a child and, in two instances, are considering an abortion. The medical professionals do not express any bias, or if they do, it is difficult to discern, as this was recorded during the COVID pandemic and everyone is wearing masks. Nevertheless, one doctor courteously requests each patient to briefly remove their mask, allowing everyone to have a clearer view of each other.

We then move on to a teenage trans man looking forward to taking testosterone once he turns 18. He might consider, the doctor suggests, having some eggs harvested before hormone treatment starts just in case he wants to have children in the future. This scene relates with another in which we meet a middle-aged trans woman being advised on why she needs to start lowering her own dosage of female hormones for health reasons, creating a kind of menopause.

Elsewhere, we see a woman stoically giving birth, barely making a peep of complaint as she pushes the little one out. We see the whole process of IVF, from the harvesting of eggs and fertilisation to the implantation into the hopeful mother-to-be’s womb.

And then there are the cancer patients. Obviously, anyone who has had cancer or been close to someone who has should understand this as a trigger warning: there are plenty of wrenching scenes of women facing their own mortality and loss of autonomy. But even here there are flashes of humour  one young woman jokes about how all the Uber drivers make passes at her because of her glamorous wig.

The camera’s gaze isn’t pitiless but there isn’t a scrap of sentimentality – just an unflinching willingness to look at all of life straight on, without blinking.

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