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The Link Between the Breasts
and a Woman's Psyche
The Breast Archives honestly and openly explores a topic our society considers taboo, or just ignores – women’s complex relationships with their breasts. America simultaneously (and obsessively) shames and fetishizes breasts. The impact on women and girls runs deep into our identities and lives, yet we don’t talk about it. In this film, nine women do.
What people are saying
"A transformational conversation starter for women of all ages."
— Poorna Bell, The Huffington Post
"The Breast Archives is like a warm conversation between you and nine of your closest friends."
— Lena Wilson, The Valley Advocate
"Every woman needs to see this documentary, so she can begin her own journey towards health."
— Sydney Ross Singer, Medical Anthropologist
"Re-visiting their breast memories gives women a chance to shift their perspective, and to tap into a deeper compassion for themselves."
— XIU-Jing Shi, A Woman's Thing
The Breast Archives captures the tenderness, anxiety, pride and wisdom of the women interviewed, and offers an opening for healing conversations about women's real, rich lives."
— Sid Reger, President, Assoc. for the Study of Women & Mythology
Director and Producer
Meagan Murphy is an award-winning Director/Producer with 25 years of experience in film and broadcast. During her 12 years with WGBH Educational Foundation, Meagan produced programs across a spectrum, including documentary, news and children's programming. Her film repertoire includes Night Deposit, Fathers & Sons, and Victor's Big Score. She is an active member of Independent Documentary Association and Women in Film & Video.
Fernanda Rossi is an internationally renowned writer and speaker who has collaborated on more than five hundred fiction scripts and documentaries, including two documentaries nominated for an Academy Award®. She has given lectures in twelve countries and at many film festivals and markets.
Miriam Cutler is an Emmy nominated Composer passionate about scoring documentaries, among them Emmy winning, Sundance, and Oscar nominated films: Ethel, Lost in La Mancha, Thin, Poster Girl, Kings Point, Ghosts Of Abu Ghraib, American Promise, Vito, Desert Of Forbidden Art, Scouts Honor, License To Kill, One Last Hug.
Why The Breast Archives Matters
When a woman has a positive attitude and connection to her breasts—a source of both nourishment and pleasure—she is more apt to respect her natural self, listen to her inner wisdom, and ultimately achieve healthy mental, physical and spiritual development.
Viewers get to know nine unforgettable women, ages 32-68, who boldly bare their hearts and breasts to the camera, candidly revealing tender memories of puberty, shaming, sexual pleasure, nursing and the individual journeys they’ve made in reclaiming their breasts. The women are in turn humorous, reflective, and good-natured about their bodies and how they relate to them mentally and emotionally.
Through the power of personal narrative, the film offers a frank examination of our culture and its subjective effects on our lives, and becomes a vital injection of the radical compassion we all thirst for.
ARE THE WOMEN IN THE BREAST ARCHIVES
My objective was to invoke women’s wisdom regarding their breasts, to invite it out of hiding. It was therefore important that the women felt they had nothing to hide, and that they felt connected to their natural bodies and femininity.
I believe that seeing bare-breasted women talk about their breasts’ complexity can help to demystify the body part, and create an opportunity for viewers to stop seeing the breasts as exclusively sexual. It’s important that the women in the film be seen as they are: sincere, intelligent, and dignified; our sisters, our mothers, our friends, and in many ways ourselves.
The Film's Egyptian Origins
The Breast Archives project came into being in Egypt, on the Nile, where I had spent a fortnight on a slowly moving riverboat, traveling from temple to temple.The Arab Spring had emptied the country, and the sites were ours and ours alone. So many of the temples I visited were dedicated to the Goddess Isis, who for thousands of years was celebrated as the Mother of Creation. Often her likeness stood 200 feet high, chiseled onto the walls of massive, sacred structures. As I stood before her towering image again and again, I couldn't help but notice her uncovered breasts projecting and fully exposed in the desert sun. Often she was nursing her infant son, Horus. Standing before her, I felt a serene courage and a deeply loving power.
Back at home, I began to wonder: What did the earliest cultures know that we aren't tapped into? Where are the mythic female statues of our culture? Where are the breasts? I became fascinated and committed to the idea of interviewing women about their breasts.