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Elle Fanning’s Short Film ‘The Likeness’ Shows a Haunting Look at Eating Disorders [VIDEO]


Elle Fanning stars in the short film ‘The Likeness,’ which depicts an all-too-real look at life with an eating disorder.

The eight-minute film, which was created by acclaimed cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto, pans over a horrific house party, with each room portraying very thin women in odd positions: one lying bent over in a drawer, another lying naked on the floor. None focus on the camera. Prieto, whose cinematography credits include ‘Brokeback Mountain, ‘Argo,’ and ‘The Wolf of Wall Street,’ made the film with his 19-year-old daughter Ximena, who suffered from anorexia when she was a young teenager.

‘The Likeness,’ which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in April, stars Elle Fanning as a young girl suffering from bulimia. Halfway through the film, while in the bathroom at the party, she looks at herself in the mirror, only to see a distorted face staring back at her. As she goes to tear her skin off, she screams — quietly at first, then inaudibly the second time. She then runs to the toilet and gets sick.

While the film is deeply haunting and difficult to view, the Prietos believe that it is important to share this intimate look at eating disorders in order to foster discussion and get rid of the stigma surrounding the disease. In addition, Lynn Grefe, president of the National Eating Disorders Association, believes the film can show people how unimaginably difficult and serious living with an eating disorder is, which will hopefully raise awareness and allow people to get help faster.

However, those who are currently suffering from an eating disorder are not encouraged to watch the film, Ximenia says. “I definitely would say if someone is in the midst of dealing with an eating disorder, it’s triggering,” she told “You’d have to be in a somewhat stable place to confront this emotion.”

Watch the short film, which was just posted to YouTube in full recently, below.

Warning: ‘The Likeness’ features some images and behaviors that might be triggering for those suffering from an eating disorder.

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