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The Body Beautiful
A film by Ngozi Onwurah
England, 1991, 23 minutes, Color, 16mm/DVD
Order No. W99229
This bold, stunning exploration of a white mother who undergoes a radical mastectomy and her Black daughter who embarks on a modeling career reveals the profound effects of body image and the strain of racial and sexual identity on their charged, intensely loving bond. At the heart of Onwurah’s brave excursion into her mother’s scorned sexuality is a provocative interweaving of memory and fantasy. The filmmaker plumbs the depths of maternal strength and daughterly devotion in an unforgettable tribute starring her real-life mother, Madge Onwurah.


Melbourne Film Festival, Best Documentary

  • New York Film Festival
  • Berlin Film Festival

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    “Somber yet fanciful. Achieves a painful honesty.”
    Janet Maslin
    New York Times

    “As cathartic as it is transgressive.”
    Amy Taubin
    Village Voice

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WMM offers film collections on a variety of specific subject areas, including the collections VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN: Ending the Silence, BODY IMAGE, and AFRICAN-AMERICAN: Celebrate the Lives of African-American Women.

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© Women Make Movies, 2005
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Women Make Movies is a multicultural, multiracial, non-profit media arts organization which facilitiates the production, promotion, distribution, and exhibition of independent films and videotapes by and about women. contact us