Want a better body? Tune in to this unnerving teleshopping advert to find out how
Writer and filmmaker Jovana Reisinger’s satirical new film, Beauty is Life, continues in the same vein as her previous work that explores socially-inscribed behaviours and market-driven decisions.
Vaginal rejuvenation sticks, slimming straps, face trainers, and breast enlargement pads... Looking good has never been so complicated for the ten women in this film who demonstrate the latest beauty technologies. Writer and filmmaker Jovana Reisinger’s satirical new film, Beauty is Life, continues in the same vein as her previous work that explores socially-inscribed behaviours and market-driven decisions. In this latest project, the Munich-based artist holds a mirror up to the global beauty industry only to reveal a crack in its reflection.
“Beauty companies are part of a system that profits from the perpetuation of female insecurities and then gets women to blame themselves for it,” says Reisinger. “More money than ever is being invested in beauty worldwide.”
“Reisinger’s women silently summon the awkward charm of a late-night teleshopping model”
The filmmaker creates a false sense of security in the opening moments of Beauty is Life with its soft pastel colours and elegant Bonsai tree that fill the frame. Wearing silk robes and smiles that never reach the eyes, Reisinger’s women silently summon the awkward charm of a late-night teleshopping model. From mini epilators to futuristic UV light face masks, the audience’s decreasing familiarity with these tools of beautification only serves to increase the absurdity of modern trends.
The film takes an unexpected turn and segues into a second chapter that is different in tone but still tied to the film’s overall messaging. Now fully clothed, the women engage in a roundtable on the female experience, objectification and sexism. With these conversations, Reisinger’s film avoids coming across as a critique of those who want to augment their bodies. Instead, Beauty is Life is a wickedly sharp exploration of the burden of femininity, which has been shaped by the beauty industry’s financial interest in marketing women's bodies as works in progress.
Director: Jovana Reisinger
Director of Photography: Lilli-Rose Pongratz
Composer: Ludwig Abraham
Actors: Merel Biebel, Katja Brenner, Samar Darouiche, Sarangerel Erdenetsetseg, Christine Grant, Salome Kießling, Julia Riedler, Linda Sakallah, Edith Saldanha, Lucia Schütz
Production: University of Television and Film Munich