How have your breasts influenced
the person you've become?

The Breast Archives uses this simple question to delve into the formative memories of nine remarkable women, offering insight into the breasts as an origination point for a woman’s psyche. In conversations that are candid and gently provocative, nine women reveal deeply personal memories of puberty, shaming, sexual pleasure, nursing, breast cancer and the journey in reclaiming their breasts.

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.

 

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

 

WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

"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/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.

 

WRITER

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.

 

COMPOSER

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.

 

PROJECT OVERVIEW

The Breast Archives tells the captivating stories of nine women who explore the complex, lifelong relationships they've had with their breasts. The subjects, aged 32-68, discuss the pubescent passage, memories of shame, the delights of first intimacies, surviving breast cancer, and the impact of religion, culture and the media on their relationships with their breasts. As old wounds and memories are boldly revealed, the women– most of whom are topless– begin to rid themselves of beliefs that are untrue and limiting, and express a desire to embrace their inner-splendor. The film illuminates the juggernaut women face as their bodies come of age in a society that expects them to present their breasts as either nurturing or sexual. With its deeply human take on the collective journey that women share, The Breast Archives is an excellent resource for women of all ages, mothers and daughters, and educators looking to inspire discussion about the emerging body-based consciousness and feminine wisdom now sweeping the globe. By revisiting the roots of a woman's relationship to her breasts - and to herself, the film creates an unprecedented opportunity to empower, engage and enlighten a new generation.

 

ARE THE WOMEN BARE-BREASTED?

It seemed absurd to talk with women about their breast experiences and not see their breasts as they spoke, or to dive into the negative influence of breast shame and not do something to confront and counteract it. 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.

In addition to the anthropological and aesthetic potential of bare breasts, I also 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 is important that the women of the documentary be seen as they are: sincere, intelligent, and dignified; our sisters, our mothers, our friends, and in many ways ourselves. I needed them to candidly reveal both their lives and the breasts that had shaped those lives. I believe that their candor will open vulnerable places inside viewers, and inspire them to examine their own unique experiences and seek healing through their own wisdom.

 

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.

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PDF Downloads:

The Breast Archives: Film Excerpts

BREAST MILK

RECLAIMING

TABOO

PRIDE