This Friday, Netflix will release a new film titled To The Bone starring Lily Collins, a film who's plot revolves around a girl suffering from anorexia nervosa. The film follows the protagonist, Ellen, through her fifth-and-final round of treatment. Ellen throughout the movie tries to figure out both how to live and eat, as she literally appears to be a walking corpse to both her family and viewers.
Collins herself suffered from an eating disorder, making her involvement in the film troublesome. Collins hired a nutritionist to help her lose weight "in a healthy way" without slipping back into old, unhealthy patterns. She was also required to check in with nutritionists, dietitian and therapists to evaluate her mental and physical state.
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Critics have chastised Collins' "safe" weight-loss, deeming her "skeletal, reed-thin and alarming frail." Director/writer Marti Noxton says that her intent with the movie, "was not to glamorize eating disorders, but to serve as a conversation starter about an issue that is too often clouded by secrecy and misconceptions." She hopes the movie will be seen as "truthful in a way that wasn't exploitive."
Just as the public backlashed against 13 Reasons Why, many health care professionals have already strongly suggested against watching To The Bone as it may glamorize anorexia. Canada's National Eating Disorder Information Centre has spoken out against the film, saying "it can maybe show people who might be struggling with dieting or disordered eating — not quite a full-blown eating disorder — show them methodology or ways to engage in behaviour that would make things worse, which is really, really dangerous."
With over 660,000 - 990,000 Canadians suffering from eating disorders, it is advised that those recovering watch To The Bone with someone else if desired. And, if needed, to seek treatment or psychological assistance post-screening. Some critics, like Variety and Sundance, are giving it good reviews. So it might be worth the screening, if done safely.