Gravitas Takes U.S., Canada on Diet Culture Doc ‘The Body Fights Back’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Gravitas Ventures has acquired all rights in the U.S. and Canada for “The Body Fights Back,” director Marian Võsumets’ documentary about the paradoxes of diet culture, Variety has learned exclusively. The deal was negotiated by Aleksandar Govedarica, co-founder of Toronto-based sales agent Syndicado Film Sales, on behalf of the filmmakers.

“The Body Fights Back” follows five people from vastly different backgrounds who face a similar experience of battling their bodies. Self-starvation and compulsive exercise bring temporary satisfaction, only to be replaced with binging and purging soon after. Eventually they learn none of it has much to do with food.

The film, which world premiered at the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, features exclusive footage from London’s contemporary anti-diet movement as well as personal archives, offering an insight into the complexity of eating disorders, body image struggles and the socio-economic realities of health. At its heart the film disputes conventional beauty ideals, arguing that diet culture has nothing to do with health and everything to do with social currency.

“The Body Fights Back” is produced by Võsumets’ Lola Productions. It’s the first feature film from the Estonian journalist, whose TV work includes documentaries on Brexit protests in London and Eurovision fandom in Israel.

Võsumets said: “North America feels like the right home for a documentary that explores disordered eating in a way that no film has done before—the psychological and political dimensions are far greater than one’s ability to live up to the unrealistic beauty standards of our time.”

She continued: “As a young female filmmaker, this documentary highlights the importance of women’s stories told by women. I am confident that ‘The Body Fights Back’ will resonate with so many people.”

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