VIFF 2014: New Boobs shows the messy reality of breast reconstruction

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      New Boobs (Netherlands)

      Everyone’s talking about breast removal and reconstruction after Angelina Jolie’s announcement, but fearless Dutch director Sacha Polak (whose Hemel feature a few years ago was equally bold) shows the messy reality—in the decision-making and in the physical process itself.

      This is not a polished doc, and it’s not meant to be: instead, 29-year-old Polak totes her cam along to doctor’s appointments, her bathroom mirror, and visits with her father and boyfriend as she works her way through the fraught decision to surgically remove a so-far healthy part of her body to avoid the cancer that killed her mother when Polak was just a baby. She shows us the effects of multiple procedures in gory detail—at one point joking, in front of the mirror, that she looks like one of Buffalo Bill’s creations in The Silence of the Lambs—and faces even heavier questions about childbearing.

      Highly personal, raw, but an essential, real voice on a topic that’s been somewhat glossed over in the media.

      Cinematheque, October 2 (10 a.m.) and 6 (2:45 p.m.); Rio, October 7 (7 p.m.)

      Follow Janet Smith on Twitter at @janetsmitharts.