Courier Press

Courier Press

“HBO documentary reveals struggle of eating disorders” - October 24, 2006

Eating disorders affect five million people in the United States, and more than 10 percent of those diagnosed with anorexia nervosa will die from the disease.

Seeking to put a human face on these sobering statistics, acclaimed photographer Lauren Greenfield went inside a Florida treatment center to tell the stories of four women who are literally dying to be thin.

The devastating HBO documentary THIN reveals what she found there - and explores the issues underlying their illness. It will debut Tuesday, Nov. 14 at 9 p.m. EST, exclusively on HBO.

Lauren Greenfield began documenting eating disorders in 1997, first for a Time magazine story, and then for her book "Girl Culture."

Having previously shot photographs at the 40-bed Renfrew Center in Coconut Creek, Fla., she returned to the facility to direct the documentary THIN, which she produced in collaboration with producer R.J. Cutler.

Living at the center for six months, Greenfield and director of photography Amanda Micheli earned the patients' trust, receiving unprecedented access to the meetings, therapy sessions and meals that make up daily life for those undergoing treatment.

Through interviews, still photographs and behind-the-scenes footage, the film tells the stories of four women between ages 15 and 30 whose pasts may be different, but are now joined by a common illness.

THIN focuses on four young women struggling with anorexia. The camera follows them to places most people will never venture, from early-morning weight checks, to emotionally draining mealtimes, to tearful therapy sessions, as well as tense encounters with staff and family members.

Unflinching and incisive, THIN is an emotional journey through the world of eating disorders that provides a greater understanding of their complexity, encompassing not just issues of food, body image or self-esteem, but also a mix of personal, familial, cultural and mental health concerns.

THIN is the centerpiece of a multi-faceted campaign designed to explore issues surrounding body image and eating disorders. For more on the THIN campaign, visit or

THIN was selected for competition at the 2006 Sundance Film festival and won the best feature-length documentary award at the London Film Festival.

THIN is Lauren Greenfield's directorial debut.

Other HBO playdates are Nov. 17 (11:15 a.m.), 19 (1:30 p.m.), 22 (5:15 p.m.), 25 (3:30 p.m.) and 27 (12:15 p.m., 10:00 p.m.), and Dec. 5 (2:45 p.m.) and 11 (1:15 a.m.).