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For the first time, a centre for the treatment of eating disorders has opened its doors to allow observation of psychotherapy sessions.
We record stories of the tragic attempt to dominate one’s own body, stories of unease, disquiet, suffering and feelings of inadequacy, but also stories of hope.

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SYNOPSIS

The film develops over the course of a year, recounting the treatment of four patients: the evolution of their disorders, the setbacks suffered and the milestones achieved in an illness that is hard to combat. The stories of these patients emerge during psychotherapy sessions, forming the principal axis of the narrative structure. Access to these sessions provides a unique opportunity to shed light on a subject whose true nature is otherwise difficult to explore in depth. The camera records the stories, the confrontations, the memories, the feelings and the emotions at the very moment they reveal themselves to the person concerned, the moment at which they rise to the surface. We see people as they undergo change, suffer collapse, have their hopes renewed, help to heal others and receive healing themselves. We feel the profound pain, seeing it as it emerges and reveals itself, or sensing it retreat into hiding.

The therapist stimulates discussion, helping patients to express themselves, to open up, to understand themselves and each other, even when it is painful to do so. The film contrasts verbal and nonverbal communication to construct a dramatic thread that helps us discover what lies hidden behind the gestures, revealing what words alone could never express.

In some cases the patient is alone with the therapist, in others family members are also present. Tensions run high, following days of silence and communication failure in the four walls of home. Seemingly insurmountable barriers are slowly dismantled. Dialogue reopens, tinged both with suffering and with hope. The external manifestation of the disorder, based on a distorted self-image and on one’s relationship with food, shows its true roots. The film’s authors, from their privileged viewpoint, record the words never said, the glances never exchanged.

The film is shot entirely at the Centre for the Treatment of Eating Disorders, located at the Comprensorio di Santa Maria della Pietà in Rome.

immmaginesinossiNUOVA

by Ilaria de Laurentiis and Raffaele Brunetti
produced by B&BFilm
duration ca. 70 min
co-produced with RAI3
with the support of the European Commission’s MEDIA programme
recognised as of cultural interest by the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities

THE FILM

AUTHORS’ NOTE OF INTENT

In the summer of 2006, we discover that our 16-year-old son is suffering from the eating disorder bulimia nervosa. That moment marks the start of a long course of therapy that involves us at a personal level. Our perspective changes radically as we learn about the nature of our son’s illness…

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DIRECTOR’S NOTE

It is only by observing how much is said or left unsaid during the therapy sessions, by noting gestures, looks and reactions, that we can understand the dynamics lying below the surface of this illness. The most effective way of addressing the subject is therefore a film that shows the world what happens at the therapy sessions…

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THE AUTHORS

RAFFAELE BRUNETTI

Writer – Director

Raffaele Brunetti is a producer and director of documentary films. Since 1988, he has been involved in the production of more than 100 documentaries in Italy and across the world. Films he has directed have been distributed in 160 countries…

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ILARIA DE LAURENTIIS

Writer – Director – Editor

After graduating in 1987 from the Centre for Experimental Cinematography in Rome, Ilaria de Laurentiis started her editing career in 1989. Her films and documentaries have been shown by RAI, TF1, National Geographic, NHK, YLE, SVT, Planete, Arte and others…

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CHARACTERS

GIULIA

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Giulia is 23. The disorder first appeared when she was 16, initially in the form of fasting and then as bingeing and self-induced vomiting. The bulimia was accompanied by episodes of self-harm effected to reduce emotional stress. Giulia is extremely articulate, and her extraordinary capacity for introspection is evident during the sessions. Exploring the issues with her parents is fundamental to unravelling the relational schemata, built up over the years, that are intricately linked to her disorder. Giulia feels that her body is bulky and has come to hate it. Her low self-esteem has led to deep and at times unbearable depression. Vomiting and self-harm ease this pain, allowing her to escape from herself and to dull the perception of having a body.

SILVIA

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Silvia is 30 and has been suffering from anorexia nervosa since adolescence. The disorder manifests itself in many ways: discomfort with her body, limiting her food intake, not being able to look at herself in the mirror, working off the calories with physical exercise. In spite of this, Silvia maintains a delightful demeanour and shows great determination to overcome the disorder. Fear of growing up has troubled her over the years, and she has always found it difficult to address the issue of leaving the parental home, despite her strong desire to become independent. Silvia expresses herself with great simplicity during the sessions, touching on profound and painful issues. This effort leads to greater awareness as she strives to regain her dignity, and to bring about change in order to be able to take on future projects.

MARIE LOUISE

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Marie Louise is 26 and suffers from bulimia nervosa. She is French and moved to Italy some 8 years ago. Once a model, she later studied medicine and now works at a medical practice. Marie Louise is socially adept and knows how to be friendly and cordial with her colleagues at work, never revealing her disorder. The true cost of this behaviour emerges during the treatment sessions. Her social skills in company lead to bingeing and vomiting when alone. This is her way of controlling and easing the sense of internal void that she has been battling with for years.

SONIA

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Sonia is 48. She has been unwell for a long time. Her anorexia nervosa started over 30 years ago, when eating disorders were not well understood and diagnosis as well as treatment were often inappropriate or inexistent. Looking back over the years, Silvia is now able to re-evaluate her life and to understand it better. She has, in the past, spent years without any kind of treatment, as well as periods of forced feeding addressing only her severe malnutrition. Sonia came to the Centre two and a half years ago. Her anorexia was overwhelming, making her unable to look after her one-year-old son properly. At first, she just wanted help to rid herself of the incapacitating disorder so that she could take good care of her boy. Today her perspective has changed. She has learned how to manage her condition, which she now sees as an inherent part of her. She realises that she will have to continue managing it for the rest of her life, but now knows that she is not alone and that, if she needs help, she will find it at the Centre.

DR ARMANDO COTUGNO

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After many years as a practicing psychiatrist, Dr Cotugno was appointed head of Rome’s Centre for the Treatment of Eating Disorders in August 2008. This is now a centre of excellence, a reference point for the treatment of eating disorders in Italy. Dr Cotugno leads a team of psychiatrists, psychologists, dieticians and internists who provide cognitive-behavioural therapy, with patients taking part in individual, group and family sessions. The direct involvement of family members is a key aspect of the treatment. They receive help and advice about how to modify the dynamics that can become entrenched within the family unit.

READ DR COTUGNO’S REFLECTIONS ON THE PROJECT

IL LUOGO

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Nel film il tempo è scandito dal passare delle stagioni nel parco del Comprensorio di Santa Maria della Pietà che accoglie il servizio ambulatoriale per la cura dei Disturbi Alimentari della ASL Roma E. È un complesso monumentale, ex manicomio più grande d’Europa, costituito da una vasta area con padiglioni edificati nel primo ’900 immersi in un parco di molti ettari di grande bellezza e valore. Il comprensorio ha assunto un significato particolare per la memoria della città di Roma, rappresentando prima, come manicomio, il luogo dell’esclusione e della negazione dei diritti e poi, nel processo che ha portato alla sua dismissione, un luogo che accoglie diversi servizi pubblici, sociali e associazioni territoriali e cittadine. L’associazione Fenice Lazio costituita da genitori di pazienti in cura presso il Centro per la i Disturbi Alimentari, si sta battendo da anni affinchè possa nascere, al fianco del servizio ambulatoriale già esistente, una residenza riabilitativa per i pazienti affetti da Disturbi del Comportamento Alimentare.

CREDITS

UN DOCUMENTARIO DI ILARIA DE LAURENTIIS E RAFFAELE BRUNETTI
CON ARMANDO COTUGNO – GIULIA BRUNO – SILVIA DE PAOLA – SONIA DE ROSSI – MARIE-LOUISE VAN WIJK – MARIO BRUNO – DANIELA BEVIVINO – FOTOGRAFIA GIANNI MAITAN – MONTAGGIO ILARIA DE LAURENTIIS – MUSICA CARLO CRIVELLI
SOUND DESIGN ALESSANDRO FELETTI – ASSISTENTE AL MONTAGGIO ANNACHIARA GISLIMBERTI
PRODUTTORI ASSOCIATI ALISON ERCOLANI – SERENA PODANO – COMMISSIONING EDITOR ANNAMARIA CATRICALÀ – FABIO MANCINI
SI RINGRAZIA ASSOCIAZIONE FENICE LAZIO ONLUS E CONSULT@NOI
PRODOTTO DA RAFFAELE BRUNETTI PER B&BFILM IN COLLABORAZIONE CON RAITRE/DOC3 CON IL PATROCINIO DELLA ASL ROMA E SVILUPPATO CON IL SUPPORTO DEL PROGRAMMA MEDIA DELLA COMUNITÀ EUROPEA FILM RICONOSCIUTO DI INTERESSE CULTURALE CON IL CONTRIBUTO ECONOMICO DEL MINISTERO PER I BENI E LE ATTIVITÀ CULTURALI

NEWS

immagineNEWS54

27 October 2015
gallery4Ciò che mi nutre mi distrugge - Documentario di Raffaele Brunetti e Ilaria de Laurentiis prodotto dalla B&BFilm verrà proiettato a Todi Venerdì 30 Ottobre alle ore 18.00 al Festival Diritti a Todi Saranno presenti insieme all'autrice Ilaria de Laurentiis i medici ed alcuni dei protagonisti del documentario, oltre alla dott.ssa Laura Dalla Ragione responsabile del Centro disturbi del comportamento alimentare, Palazzo Francisci di Todi. www.ciocheminutremidistrugge.com
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STREAMING GRATUITO

19 May 2014
In seguito alle numerose richieste ricevute  "Ciò che mi nutre mi distrugge" Domenica 25 Maggio (dalle ore 10.00 x 24 ore) sarà visibile gratuitamente in streaming sul sito Vi auguriamo buona visione
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ASL TARANTO

15 May 2014
"Ciò che mi nutre mi distrugge" verrà proiettato venerdì 30 maggio alle h. 9:30 presso l'Auditorium del Padiglione Vinci dell'Ospedale Santissima Annunziata della ASL di Taranto.
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immagineNEWS54

54° Festival dei Popoli di Firenze

21 August 2013
Evento speciale al 54° Festival dei Popoli di Firenze, festival internazionale del film documentario, 30 Novembre - 7 Dicembre 2013. Interverranno gli autori, i medici e i pazienti. Saranno presenti le Associazioni dei familiari.
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Rai 3

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29 June 2012
Ciò che mi nutre mi distrugge in onda su Rai 3 nel programma Doc3 Mercoledì 11 Settembre alle ore 23.55

PRESS

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B&B Film Via della Stazione di San Pietro 40 00165 Roma - production@bbfilm.tv - www.bbfilm.tv - Realizzato da Studio Polpo
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