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Fat Chance
A Film by Yuka Sekiguchi
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Winner of the American Library Association Video Round Table's Notable Videos for Adults award.

When single mom and filmmaker Yuka Sekiguchi (Senso Daughters, When Mrs. Hegarty Comes to Japan), overweight at nearly 200 pounds and fast approaching fifty, determines to lose weight in hopes of becoming healthier and happier, she decides to film her struggle, figuring that public humiliation will be a strong incentive to succeed.

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FAT CHANCE, by turns serious and humorous, chronicles her six-month effort, involving experiments with fad diets, machines that claim to break down body fat, exercise programs, diet shakes, and consultations with an obesity expert, a psychiatrist, and a plastic surgeon.

Although it should be easy-just eat less and exercise more, right?-Yuka discovers that her love of food, especially her weakness for pizza and chocolate, is hard to overcome, leading to a yo-yo experience of dieting and bingeing. But her health problems, including high blood pressure, difficulty in walking and sleeping, and the possibility of developing diabetes, makes her a desperate woman on a mission.

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Although Yuka learns much from experts such as Dr. Gary Egger, founder of GutBusters, and plastic surgeon Dr. Sean Nicklin (on whom she develops a crush, renewing her interest in men after many years), her deepest insights are gained from her sessions with psychotherapist Dr. George Blair-West, a specialist in the psychology of overeating.

Discovering the emotional roots of her overeating, Yuka comes to term with some deeply personal issues and, in the process, learns not just about her body, but also finds herself.

“Enjoyable, educational and entertaining... Production values are first-rate, and this extremely likeable film will fit nicely into academic nutrition and health sciences collections, as well as women’s studies, social work and multicultural studies. Recommended.” —Lori Widzinski, Educational Media Reviews Online

“Starts out as a film about weight, but winds up being a film about culture... Recommended.” —K. Fennessy, Video Librarian

"An impressive, intimate documentary... touching and inspiring... bulging with subtle humor."—The Age

2009 Notable Video for Adults, American Library Association
2009 WPA Western Psychological Association Conference

52 minutes / color
Closed Captioned
Release: 2008
Copyright: 2007
Sale: $390

Subject areas:
Biology, Body Image, Food, Health Issues, Psychology, US & Canadian Broadcast Rights, Women's Health, Women's Studies

Related Links:
The Films of Yuka Sekiguchi

Related Titles:
A Natural History of Laughter: A lively look at the latest developments in the scientific study of laughter.

How Happy Can You Be?: What is happiness? And how do we get more of it? Visiting leading figures in positive psychology and observing clinical experiments, this is a light-hearted but serious investigation.

Made Over in America: In a culture where bodies seem customizable, how do we perceive body image, and how are desires for a better self influenced by reality television and the makeover industry?

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Last Updated August 17, 2015
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