Women’s Health, Sexuality Film Series Starts This Week


Vijay Modi
Staff Writer

End Fake Clinics, a student activism group at the University of California, Santa Barbara is launching its series of film screenings this Monday, Feb. 4, with events scheduled to take place on March 4 and April 4 as well. This series of events will focus on the topic of womens’ health, intending to inform local women of key health issues through the lens of documentary films.

This week’s feature event will include the screening of “Absolutely Safe” by Carol Ciancutti-Leyva, taking place in the Multipurpose Room from 4-5:30 p.m.  The movie aims to take on the debate on breast implants from a personal level that allows viewers to understand the complexities, interests, and hazards that stand behind the process. The personal tone of the movie is given through the introduction of a number of characters, each discussing her own journey, which involves both the before and after perspectives of women who decided to go through a breast implant surgery. In addition, the movie explores the variety of factors that affect the field of breast implantation surgeries. These factors produce constant friction between implant manufacturers, the government’s position on the topic, and the research done by numerous doctors who, with time, learn more about the dangers that come with the surgery. Through this lens, the film examines the long term health effects and social culture surrounding silicone breast implants, which are often neglected when approaching the topic. After the screening, women’s health expert Judy Norsigian will lead a question and answer session. Norsigian is the author of “Our Bodies, Ourselves,” a book comprehensively discussing women’s sexuality, which became an instant top seller after its release in Oct. 2011. The event is co-sponsored by the UCSB Feminist Studies Department, the Women’s Center, Vox, and Cambridge Documentary Films.

“Live Free Or Die,” the second movie in the series, gives the New Hampshire state motto a contemporary twist, as it recounts the story of an abortion clinic in a small New Hampshire town. The clinic becomes a microcosmic example of the battle enraging in abortion politics between supporters of human rights and protesters against the abortion process. “Orgasm, Inc.,” produced by Liz Canner, is the third film in the series and aims to expose corporate interests around the medicalization of female sexuality.

End Fake Clinics is a reproductive justice student activism group that works to raise awareness and inform local women through dependable resources on reproductive health. EFC was established in 2011 in order to balance the playing field in which, they felt, women were misinformed about issues central to their health, such as abortions.

“End Fake Clinics is very excited to work with local feminist organizations to put on this film series,” event coordinator Grovinya “Sweets” Underwood emphasized. “Our organization is primarily focused on reproductive justice, but we’re proud to be a part of educating women about these three critical health and sexuality issues.” EFC meets weekly on Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. in the Women’s Center Conference Room in the Student Resources Building.