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Western Eyes ONF/NFB

Catalogue Number:  NFB532008
Producer:  National Film Board Of Canada
Producers:  Gerry Flahive, Louise Lore
Directors:  Ann Shin
Producing Agencies:  National Film Board of Canada (Montreal)
Subject:  Arts, Diversity, Documentary, Health and Medicine, Media and Communications, Women's Studies
Language:  English
Grade Level:  Post Secondary
Country Of Origin:  Canada
Copyright Year:  1999
Running Time:  39:30
Closed Captions:  Yes

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In a culture where the standard of beauty is unyielding, what happens to women
who feel they don't fit in? What goes on inside a woman who is desperately
unhappy with how she looks on the outside? Western Eyes examines the
search for beauty and racial identity through the eyes of Maria Estante and
Sharon Kim, young women contemplating cosmetic surgery. Both of Asian descent,
the two believe their looks--specifically their eyes--get in the way of how
people see them. Layering their stories with pop-culture references to beauty
icons and supermodels, filmmaker Ann Shin takes a hip approach to telling the
real-time emotional journeys of Maria and Sharon. Using the camera to look
past skin, Shin looks at the pain that lies deep behind the desire for plastic
surgery. Western Eyes is a brilliant examination of beauty and
perception: how we see; how we are seen; how we see how we are seen.

Western Eyes was produced as part of the Reel Diversity
Competition for emerging filmmakers of colour. Reel Diversity is a National
Film Board of Canada initiative in partnership with CBC Newsworld.

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