Beauty and the Breast is not the typical breast cancer documentary. The film’s director, Liliana Komorowska, documents the lives of the women struggling with cancer and their journey. Her perspective highlights the women and not the disease. The film is winning a number of awards as it touches people’s hearts. Liliana Komorowska sat with Cliche to talk about the film and why she felt driven to create it.
Cliché: Why did you make a film focusing on breast cancer? What helped to inspire the creation of Beauty and the Breast?
Liliana Komorrowska: I met a woman who was at least twelve to thirteen years younger than me. She was a mother of two, outgoing, attractive, an actress, and full of life. She came to show me a video she took while going through chemotherapy. I looked at her and thought this was not possible. She’s younger than me and she has breast cancer. I started to to get awakened to the subject as I reviewed the material she brought me. It was then that I realized that just because I am a woman, I am a target of this disease and it could happen at anytime, to anybody. So,I thought to myself what if it happened to me and I wanted to find answers. I asked that girl, Soraya, if she would be able to be followed by me and to open her world to me. She said yes and I realized that was where I would start developing the concept of the film. From that moment on, I entered the very different world of women that deal with this disease and how it changes them from one day to the other.
I decided to take on this challenge because I have enough energy in me and I wanted to bring a different perspective to this disease. When I was researching the subject, [I was] ignorant about disease the information I was getting made [the] disease sound like death It was scary and that fear builds inside of you as you think one day you may get it. I needed to ease that fear and I needed to demystify this huge C – cancer. I also wanted to do the film because I had family members that faced cancer. During the five years of filming, I felt compelled to put all my energy into this film and bring a different perspective that is more uplifting, which is we can deal with it and we can paradoxically find a way inside ourselves to find the resilience to fight this disease and live with the consequ
ences of it. I also wanted to show how a woman deals with a disease that directly targets the femininity the most because it takes
away the important elements that make a woman. Those attributes, like breast and hair, are extremely important in our society. Ev
erything focuses on beauty. You look at ads and movies, the whole world turns around beauty. How you deal with it when the disease strikes right to the core of what beauty is, you find the beauty in you. It really interested me in how these women deal with it.
It took me many years to find women that wanted to open themselves.It took a lot of research and a lot of patience.
The film mentions a number of organizations, like Jump for Hope. Why did you pick those organizations to be in your film?
It wasn’t about the organizations, but the women that were involved in them. So, when I had a subject that was on the chair for this event, called Jump for Hope, I wanted to show what she did because of this disease and why she said “My life would be boring without having this disease because that’s the course of life.” And at one point, it opened me up to all of this. Now I am an advocate and helping other women become better people. This disease doesn’t have to destroy you. It can actually build you sometimes into a better person. That is why each one of these events is associated with the person that I was following at the time. They led me to these organizations in their quests to get better.
Liliana Komorrowska creates a film that shows women as strong, beautiful fighters in the face of a deadly, life changing disease. Her film. Beauty and the Breast, released this October. It is sure to make everyone rethink their lives. It is truly a life changing film that will open you up to a new world.
To read the full article check out our October/November 2013 Issue.