If you or someone you know is dealing with bulimia nervosa, you may benefit from watching these 10 bulimia movies. Although movies on the topic may be a trigger for some people who suffer from this destructive eating disorder, others find it healing to see someone speak up and act out what they themselves have faced. Bulimia is an illness that causes the sufferer to binge on food, then get rid of the excess calories often by vomiting and sometimes over-exercising or taking too many laxatives. Here are some films that sensitively deal with this difficult subject.
- "Kate's Secret" was a groundbreaking movie about bulimia from 1986, when the topic was not yet much discussed in popular culture. Starring Meredith Baxter (of "Family Ties" fame), the movie was unique in that it showed a seemingly very happy and successful, middle-aged woman with a great career and loving family can be a sufferer of bulimia as well.
- "Perfect Illusions" in a documentary film that looks at several, real-life cases of women who have triumphed over eating disorders, including bulimia. Narrated by Lauren Hutton, the movie also sensitively deals with the issues and profiles Marya Hornbacher, who is known for her harrowing memoir, "Wasted," about her own struggles with bulimia and anorexia.
"A Secret Between Friends: A Moment of Truth Movie," also referred to as "When Friendship Kills," is a strong movie about how making one friend when a girl is in a vulnerable state sends her down the path to bulimia. With moments of comic relief and strong acting from all the leads, the movie tells a compelling story about how the disease is sometimes horrifically spread among friends.
- "Girl, Interrupted" features an assumed bulimic character portrayed brilliantly by the late, great Brittany Murphy. There are a few characters in the film that have implied eating disorders, but the bulimic storyline follows a sad, ultimate ending for the character, but the sensitivity and freak realism of the movie and its portrayal of those who suffer from bulimia makes it an important film to see.
- "Thin," a documentary about women in recovery from bulimia and other eating disorders, is an important film on the topic. With its stark and realistic portrayal of the problem, it is essential viewing for those seeking or experiencing recovery.
- "Michael Landon: The Father I Knew" has an important side story about the bulimia of Michael Landon's daughter, Leslie. The movie was controversial, as it was made by Michael Landon's son, yet showed him in not the best of lights at times. For example, in the film, Landon's teasing his daughter about her weight is implied to be the cause of the disorder. Of course, in reality, the disease is far more complicated than that, the movie does sensitively address the topic in a few scenes. We can just hope Leslie wanted that information out there.
- "Dying to Be Thin" is a NOVA documentary that, as its title implies, does not shy away from the deadly aspect of bulimia. It looks at people form many walks of life who suffer from the disease, why they suffer from it and what the experience is like.
- "The Karen Carpenter Story" was made in 1989 with the support and approval of the late star's family. In the course of telling her life story, it also addresses the eating disorders that ultimately claimed her life in her early thirties. It addresses the bulimia that caused her to take excessive laxatives for extended periods of time to help control her weight.
"Killing Us Softly" is a movie from 1979 that bravely addressed how advertisements objectify women and create a culture in which bulimia developed and thrived. It has been updated recently with "Killing Us Softly 3."
- "Sharing the Secret" is a powerful movie about a young girl's descent into bulimia. Starring Alison Lohman, it also chronicles how she tries to get better. It is realistic, well-written and strongly acted.