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Western Eyes

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In a culture where the standard of beauty is unyielding, what happens to women who feel they don't fit in? What goes on inside a woman who is desperately unhappy with how she looks on the outside? Western Eyes examines the search for beauty and racial identity through the eyes of Maria Estante and Sharon Kim, young women contemplating cosmetic surgery. Both of Asian descent, the two believe their looks--specifically their eyes--get in the way of how people see them. Layering their stories with pop-culture references to beauty icons and supermodels, filmmaker Ann Shin takes a hip approach to telling the real-time emotional journeys of Maria and Sharon. Using the camera to look past skin, Shin looks at the pain that lies deep behind the desire for plastic surgery. Western Eyes is a brilliant examination of beauty and perception: how we see; how we are seen; how we see how we are seen.

Western Eyes was produced as part of the Reel Diversity Competition for emerging filmmakers of colour. Reel Diversity is a National Film Board of Canada initiative in partnership with CBC Newsworld.

2000, 39 min 30 s

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