New Austin documentary All of Me airs 3/24

All of Me: A Story of Love, Loss and Last Resorts will air nationally on Independent Lens March 24th at 8 pm. KLRU is the presenting PBS station for this documentary, which explores the relationships between a group of women from Austin who have been friends — and morbidly obese — for years. But now, having weight-loss surgery is about to upset everything they thought they knew about health, happiness, friendship and love.

KLRU produced, and is distributing to PBS stations nation-wide, a townhall-style show called Civic Summit: Obesity, Weight Loss and Body Acceptance. The Civic Summit explores the complex issues and experiences surrounding obesity and weight loss. This panel discussion will raise questions and provide information and insights related to the physical and emotional challenges confronting those in our society who are obese. Experts in the field of weight loss surgery, mental health, wellness and body acceptance discuss the struggles, stigma and prejudices faced by members of the obese community and the many options available to them.

All Of Me focuses on the journeys of three of these Austin women: Judy, who is determined to succeed while her husband is conflicted; Dawn, who had an early career as a fat model and calendar girl, and struggles with both her weight and identity; and the heaviest of the Girls, Zsalynn, who, at over 500 pounds, desperately tries to save enough money for surgery, for her young daughter’s sake.

Through their stories, All of Me shines light on our attitudes and prejudices about obesity — its causes, challenges, and the intense psychological struggle so many have with food that no surgery or diet can cure. The Girls take us through their food addiction and emotional eating with a searing honesty. For a group so often vilified, joked about, or ignored, All of Me provides a platform for their stories and encourages viewers to take a fresh look at our own prejudices and complicated relationships with food, fat, and our bodies.

KLRU worked with filmmaker Alexandra Lescaze on both the documentary and the Civic Summit. Lescaze is a NY-based documentary filmmaker and the Executive Director of the Sidney Hillman Foundation, home of the annual Hillman Prizes in Journalism and monthly Sidney Awards, honoring excellence in journalism in service of the common good. Her first film, Where Do You Stand? stories from an American mill, documented the 25-year effort of North Carolina textile workers to organize a union in the face of modernization and globalization.