Beauty Mark

Co-Director, Co-Editor, Cinematographer,
Post-production Supervisor: Kathleen Man Gyllenhaal
2008, Feature Documentary, Digital video, 75 min.
Distributed by the Media Education Foundation

BEAUTY MARK is for anyone who has ever felt invisible because they didn’t conform to our culture’s impossible, unhealthy, abnormal beauty standards. This courageous film examines popular culture’s toxic emphasis on weight and looks through the eyes of Boulder-based psychotherapist and former world-class triathlete Diane Israel– who tells her own story while interviewing other champion athletes, body builders, fashion models and inner-city teens about their experiences relating to self-image.

This deeply personal and funny film asks some tough questions … How do our families influence our relationships with our own bodies? How do popular culture “standards” get inside of our hearts and heads? In what ways can sports actually make us sicker instead of healthier? Former champion athletes, including David Scott, Ellen Hart Pena and Brenda Maller share their stories while notable luminaries such as playwright Eve Ensler, author Paul Campos and cultural critic Naomi Wolf provide their insights.

An elite runner and triathlete until age 28, Diane won the Pikes Peak Marathon and several other major races after settling in Colorado in the early 1980s. She retired from competition after collapsing from anorexia (sometimes called “athletic bulimia”, a disorder many athletes suffer from, but which few experts knew anything about at that time). Diane went back to school to become a psychotherapist and is now a professor of human development at Naropa University, a counselor and the co-owner of a women’s fitness center. She continues to run, but strives to live her life at a less frantic pace.

Screened at over 40 film festivals, conferences and schools, and winner of the following awards:
Winner, Audience Choice Award, Estes Park Film Festival
Winner, Audience Choice Award, Moondance International Film Festival
Finalist, Best Documentary, Moondance International Film Festival

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