Documentary by Elena Rossini, 2012, 90'
"The Illusionists" is a documentary about the body as the "finest consumer object," focusing on how mass media, advertising, and several industries manipulate and exploit people's insecurities about their bodies for profit. The documentary will trace the evolution of beauty ideals through the centuries and will examine the economic motives behind the marketing of unattainable beauty. The preoccupation over physical beauty is as old as time; what is different today is the central role that the pursuit of the perfect body has taken: it has become our new religion. The fast-paced culture brought on by globalization and the economy has created a new paradigm: individuals are increasingly pushed to re-invent themselves. Through advertising and mass media, multibillion-dollar industries (most notably cosmetics, fashion, dieting and cosmetic surgery) saturate our lives with images of idealized, unattainable beauty, of an "Official Body" that does not exist in nature and that can be obtained only through cosmetic surgery -- or digital retouching. The beauty industry is constantly expanding and has now found two new targets: little girls and men. A revolution is under way in the perception that these two groups have of themselves.http://theillusionists.org/