Last Friday saw the first Petersfield screening of the social documentary Embrace and now that there’s been a chance for thoughts and emotions to have calmed, gathered and digested I wanted to write a little blog post about how the evening went.
First up a bit of background about the film and why four ladies from Petersfield wanted to get involved.
Embrace: The Union Project is a campaign set up by Australian mum Taryn Brumfitt about her journey to find peace with her body. Without going into too much detail, because if you haven’t yet seen the film I don’t want to ruin it for you with a big old spoiler, Taryn had a huge light bulb moment at a critical time in her life and made it her mission to help people all around the world embrace body diversity, to love their bodies and to promote real health, happiness and wellness rather than the media influenced thin, flawless, idealistic and unachievable images we are surrounded with.
The film documents her mission, meeting various people along the way who have experienced body issues. It’s a film that manages to make you feel positive and inspired whilst at the same time feeling hopeless and downright depressed at the state of how bad things have got. Ultimately however, it is a film that encourages discussion, reflection and perspective.
I’m guessing after that I don’t really need to explain why I’d want to get involved in a screening of this, do I? I mean, body positivity, keeping it real and promoting the virtues of leading a realistically healthy lifestyle is literally everything I stand for; it was a complete and utter no brainer for me to shout ‘YES’ from the rooftops when I was asked by the lovely Polly to get involved.
Polly is an NCT Breastfeeding Counsellor, Yoga for Pregnancy Teacher, mum of 3, life juggler extraordinaire and all round good egg, she’s the driving force behind getting this film shown in Petersfield, and along with Annabel Boys (Health Coach for Women) and Jos Drew (Osteopath at Nurture Your Health) and of course little old me, we joined forces to get this film out there.
A couple of lunch dates, a few email convos and plenty of social media pot stirring and we had a plan. We sold all 60 tickets within the first week of them being released- incredible, right? And there was us worrying about whether we’d manage to sell any!!!
It was important to us to create an evening that made people feel special. And whilst there was no doubt they would leave remembering the evening, after all the film does stir up all kinds of heated debate, we wanted them to feel as though they’d been treated, looked after and well, just pop a little smile on their faces. We served Prosecco on arrival and each guest was given a goody bag filled with lovely treats such as herbal tea bags, bath bombs, motivational messages, leaflets aplenty and a tissue to mop up any tears. A huge thank you to the local businesses who gifted their goodies – The Natural Apothecary and Hälsa Cosmetics I’m looking at you 🙂
After a nail biting introduction from the four of us – I never have liked public speaking – it was time for the film.
Now I’ll be honest, when I saw the film for the first time I enjoyed it, but I didn’t feel as though it stirred up that many emotions in me really. I mean sure there were a couple of parts that shocked me, but it didn’t feel revolutionary. I can only put this down to the fact that I have already embraced my body, on my own terms, I’ve made and found peace if you like. But oh my goodness how different I felt watching it a second time, sat in and amongst this crowd of other viewers. The room was absolutely alive with an electric air of emotional outbursts, from gasps of shock and horror, giggles and laughter at the absurdity of some of it, and the silence and sadness that hit at various points – let’s just say those tissues came in handy. And sharing those feelings was incredibly emotional to me, OK so I didn’t sit there blubbing into my Prosecco (heavens forbid!), but there was a lump in my throat alright. I realised it was making an impact on people, that they were feeling informed, united and empowered all at the same time and it felt great to be a part of that. That is EXACTLY what the film and movement is about and whilst it would be incredibly naive to expect a film to dramatically change a persons relationship with their body in the space of an hour and a half, it certainly created ripples…and it is those ripples that go on to make tidal waves.
At the end people naturally broke off into groups to discuss what they had watched. Some felt a bit overwhelmed by it all (it really is a lot to take in), and then there were those that felt it missed certain people out, that there wasn’t enough focus on boys and what about women without children…so many issues to cover in so little time!
But above anything else it got people talking!
The evening was a huge success, so much so that we have decided to put on another screening at another, much bigger venue next month. This time we’re selling 120 (yes 120!!!) tickets with the aim of raising enough money to not only cover our costs, but to also have enough to fund and gift a license to a local secondary school enabling them to show the film to their pupils.
We would absolutely love it if you could join us for the evening and help get involved in this important project. You can find more information and details of how to buy tickets here – https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/embrace-petersfield-screening-2-tickets-38784020048 and you can watch the trailer on the clip below.
“Brilliant. Really. The event was superb, the Prosecco a treat, the goody bag so thoughtful and the film was thought provoking and inspiring. Big, small and everything in between. A huge thank you to you all.”
Did you come to the Petersfield screening of Embrace?
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