Sonja (Jenny Lehtinen), 35, tries to do some shopping, go on dates, and go to the swimming hall with her daughter. It turns out to be surprisingly difficult, since other people cannot get over the fact that Sonja is fat. Fat is directed by Kirsikka Saari and written by Raisa Omaheimo and Kirsikka Saari, and it is part of the film anthology Force of Habit.
Directed by: Kirsikka Saari
Screenplay by: Raisa Omaheimo & Kirsikka Saari
Produced by: Elli Toivoniemi
Development phase producer: Sanna Kultanen
Cinematography by: Päivi Kettunen F.S.C.
Production design by: Laura Haapakangas
Costume design by: Roosa Marttiini
Make-up design by: Kaisu Hölttä
Editing by: Ville Hakonen
Sound design by: Lotta Mäki
Sonja: Jenny Lehtinen
Myyjä: Sonja Kuittinen
Poliitikko: Eero Saarinen
Eero: Joonas Heikkinen
Armi: Ainu Kormilainen
Isä: Juho Milonoff
Country of production: Finland
Domestic content rating: S (for all ages)
The screenplay leans on my own experiences. Harassment is something fat people experience daily because the society has strict norms about what size people should be. Harassment can consist of things such as remarks, name-calling, or “friendly” dieting advice from strangers in a shop.
I wrote this screenplay because fat phobia and body fascism are detrimental. It is proven that the stress and anxiety they cause are more harmful to your health than being overweight. I want all fat people to see that they are not alone with the harassment and discrimination that they encounter, and that there are alternatives. A person’s body is nobody else’s business. What I want in this world is body peace, the right for everyone to be happy just the size they are.
Raisa Omaheimo’s monologue play Fat made an immediate impression on me when I saw it at Teatteri Takomo in 2016. The bold yet very delicate play based on Raisa’s own life portrayed the experiences a fat woman has: people making remarks, feeling inadequate, blaming oneself and being scorned by others. There’s no room for an overweight woman, often not concretely, either. The play also made an impression on women whose dress size wasn’t 52. Adults say it’s awful that children as young as eight are worried about their weight — yet they’re not free from the same ideals, either. Not being happy with one’s body and being ashamed of one’s body are often passed down from mother to daughter like a well-kept secret. Shame causes people to curl in on themselves or to behave explosively. Adults teach children already at a young age that they should respect others and themselves, but the idea of body peace is often difficult also for the adults themselves.
What do you see differently after having seen the film? Share your insights!
DISCUSS THE FILM!
The discussion material created by the Yksittäistapaus campaign and the Timeout Foundation help you have constructive dialogue about the film and to see things from a new perspective. The discussion material is especially designed to support dialogue in school lessons.
You can lead the discussion by showing the guidelines and discussion questions to the participants directly through the slide show below. You can download and print the more extensive guidelines with additional support for the leader of the discussion as a PDF file.