Friday, April 25

Narrative FeaturesSpecial Events ArchiveIndependent Film Festival Boston 2014


Buy Tickets

Director: Mark Phinney

Powered by an utterly fearless, tour-de-force performance by Mel Rodriguez, FAT is a bracingly personal inventory of the indignities of battling obesity. Making his feature directorial debut, comedian Mark Phinney has adapted a series of autobiographical essays into an unflinching portrait of a life consumed by a compulsive and tragically self-destructive relationship with food. Often deeply discomfiting, FAT is also darkly funny, and above all, a film of remarkable emotional honesty.

300-pound Ken (Rodriguez) suffers from diabetes, hypertension, and wears a respiratory mask to bed to alleviate his apnea. Prone to fits of rage and bouts of severe depression, his cycle of guilty binging was triggered by grief at the recent death of his mother and abandonment by his longtime girlfriend. Ken jokingly dismisses his ailments and this keen sense of humor soon endears him to Audrey (Ashley Lauren), an acquaintance of his best friend Terry (Jason Dugre) who is eager to offer Ken support However, he must first commit to helping himself.

Given modern-day society’s obsession with body image, the rapidly growing prevalence of obesity is ironic and telling. Yet it’s all too rare to see authentic cinematic portrayals of “living large.” Employing a raw, pseudo-documentary aesthetic and the soul-baring performance from Rodriguez, Phinney has tapped into his own painful experiences to redress that deficiency. FAT relates its protagonist’s struggle with resonant candor by offering insight into the workings of one’s man’s wounded heart.

—Toronto International Film Festival

Official Page | Facebook | Twitter