This week some members of the Campus MovieFest crew had the opportunity to attend some screenings at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York and see some incredible work by up-and-coming artists. Here’s a review for the film EATING LUNCH by CMF Video Manager Caitlin Wert:
Watching short films can be a very intimate experience, particularly because so much vital information is offered in such a limited duration. There is no time to be coy; there is only time to draw the viewer into the story. TriBeCa’s Skin Deep series of shorts is full of pensive pieces that prompt true emotion. The stand out for me is Eating Lunch, a Swedish film by director Sanna Lenken that focuses on a group gathering for lunch in an eating disorder clinic. The story follows Klara, a returning patient played by a very convincing Elina Sandberg, as she attempts to finish her meal in 30 minutes. Much to Klara’s dismay, not only does she have to deal with her own self-judgments while eating, but she also has to process the added stress of a very neurotic new patient who has no problem being vocal about her worries.
Lenken does a fantastic job of putting the audience directly into the situation and transferring Klara’s concerns over to us; you simply cannot help but feel uncomfortable when watching this film. As the narrative progresses, you empathize more and more with Klara to the point where you can personally feel her anxiety as if you were experiencing it yourself. Anyone who has ever dealt with an eating disorder or who knows someone else who suffers will appreciate the reality that Eating Lunch presents. The act of eating lunch is such a “normal” thing for many of us, but this film challenges that mindset by putting a spotlight on how difficult eating can actually be for people who have eating disorders. The subject is a tough one to handle, but Lenken does it with skill and grace.
I consider a film successful when it evokes authentic emotion. Without a doubt, Eating Lunch accomplishes this feat. In the span of 13 minutes, Lenken makes us feel tentative, uneasy, and hopeful in a very real way. This is a film that will resonate with you long after you have left the theater.