Synopsis: Eating Myself Out of House and Home is an autoethnographic, experimental short about disordered eating. Using Jacques Derrida’s concept of Hospitality as a framework, the film examines the tension between being both a “host” and “guest” inside one’s body and within a larger social and political context. Drawing on social and archival media, home videos, political philosophy, and candid interviews, the film explores the way food and bodies become of medium for exerting control and alienating oneself and others. From weight watchers to 1950’s beauty guides to kids birthday parties, the film uncovers the racist and sexist roots of diet culture and disordered eating.
Mehar Sasan (Interviewee)
This film was the final product of my undergraduate thesis. It was also a product of my eating disorder recovery process. Having little prior experience with filmmaking, this was an ambitious project for me to take on but one that truly excited me. I was inspired by the work of Marlon Riggs, Vilhelm Hammershoi, Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, and Sabrina Strings. These artists, theorists, and academics have given me a language to describe my relationship with food and my body.
I was fortunate to have access to software and equipment through McMaster University libraries. However, the COVID-19 restrictions impacted the production in ways I did not anticipate. The entire film was produced over the course of 4 months. Most of the film is shot in my student house when my roommates were still asleep. What was more challenging than finding a suitable place to film, was figuring out how to talk about eating cake within a Derridian framework without being totally incoherent. I am still not sure if I achieved that much.
Rachel MacDougall makes her directorial debut with EATING MYSELF OUT OF HOUSE AND HOME. Rachel is a recent graduate from the Arts & Science program at McMaster University and a current Common Law student at the University of Ottawa.