Could you bare your breasts and then talk about them on camera? Read the fascinating story of the upcoming film, The Breast Archives, directed and produced by Meagan Murphy:
An inspirational and gently provocative documentary, The Breast Archives explores the complex, yet elusive and hushed relationship women have with their breasts. In the film, the women share their deeply personal memories of puberty, aging, sexual pleasure, nursing, and breast cancer–to name a few. As they give voice to these memories, they find an innate and guiding wisdom as they realize how they’ve tied their feelings about their breasts to their self-worth. These women courageously bare their breasts to the camera, each inviting the audience to accept her naked, imperfect truth.
Making The Breast Archives was a powerful experience for every woman in the film. “I can honestly say to you this may be the first time in my life my breasts and I are befriending each other,” says Sandy. “I am a whole woman as I sit here with you.”
Through bold & candid personal narratives the film illuminates many significant themes and often-stifled experiences of womanhood in America: adolescence, sensual and sexual experience, health and aging. The Breast Archives will make some people uncomfortable. It will elicit emotions, memories, and provocative conversations. It will compel people to explore their own stories. By exposing themselves, the women expose and challenge all of us.
The participants, aged 32-68, knew beforehand that they would be asked to expose their breasts to the camera. They chose to participate because they felt empowered to take part in what they knew to be a new and necessary conversation, and they understood that baring their breasts was part of that. There were moments of nervousness as they removed their tops, but these moments tended to be fleeting and quickly shifted toward feelings of generosity, authenticity, and dignified courage.
Once the breasts were revealed, the interviews shifted dramatically, becoming more profound and openhearted. Being topless gave the women a heightened awareness, and was visibly transformative. As the women sorted through their experiences and feelings, and as they articulated their insights, their perspectives began to shift.
The camera captured everything as they began to assimilate experiences that had been previously compartmentalized. As one woman said, “There are so many things that I haven’t really thought about concerning my breasts and their ability to open me up.” Removing their shirts wasn’t just about daring or boldness, or even self-acceptance, but about asserting a right to claim their identity and love themselves.
Read more about the film here, on the website.
Follow the film on Twitter.
About director Meagan Murphy:
Meagan Murphy is an award-winning Director/Producer with 25 years’ experience in both film and broadcast. In addition to earning a BS from Northeastern University in 1992, Meagan received two certificates from the International Film and Television workshops in Maine, as well as certificates from a New England-based Women’s Mystery School, Mama Gena’s School of Womanly Arts, and a 200 Hour Teacher Training certificate from Expressive Arts & Yoga through Northampton’s Embodiment Institute.
She earned a Communicator’s Award for her work with teens and a Medical Journalism Fellowship through Blue Cross Blue Shield. While at PBS-WGBY, she contributed to and oversaw several award-winning series. Her film repertoire includes Night Deposit, Fathers & Sons, and Victor’s Big Score.
Meagan is active in several industry and networking associations, including the International Documentary Association, Women Business Owners Alliance, eWomen and Women in Film and Video/New England. Additionally, she sits on several committees for the Arts Council in Easthampton, Massachusetts.
“I’d like to be a role model who inspires courage, compassion, and authentic expression. I am also deeply committed to changing society’s faulty perceptions of women and their feminine bodies as somehow dispensable, and I intend to use The Breast Archives as a springboard to make a difference in this arena.”