Films by Jean Kilbourne
Author and activist Jean Kilbourne analyses the depiction of women in advertising and media by decoding a large array of print and television ads. What is revealed is a torrent of stereotypes; sexist and misogynistic images and messages; laying bare a world of frighteningly thin women in positions of subservience; collectively, the restrictive code of femininity that works to undermine girls and women in the real world. By examining these messages, Killing Us Softly asks us to take advertising seriously, and to think critically about its relationship to sexism, eating disorders, violence against women, popular culture, and contemporary politics.
Slim Hopes shows how the stories advertising tells us about food, femininity, and the female body directly contribute to anorexia, bulimia, and other life-threatening eating disorders. From ads that glamorise emotional eating with catch-phrases like “you can never have too much,” to ads that promote thinness and tell women to watch what they eat, Slim Hopes takes the advertising industry to task for sending young women in particular, a set of deeply contradictory and unhealthy messages about food and body image.
Through powerful insider information, Pack of Lies reveals the deception of the tobacco industry’s claims that they do not seek to addict children to nicotine. The film provides important analytical background. Jean Kilbourne is a nationally recognized researcher and lecturer on media, advertising, and health issues. Rick Pollay teaches advertising and marketing management at the University of British Columbia, and has been an expert witness in trials involving the tobacco industry. They team up to provide important insights on the power of advertising dollars to counter the influence of scientific research, to affect news coverage, and to put private profit ahead of public health.