Ready to see your new favorite short film? It’s called The Focus Group, and it’s the brainchild of comedian/author/feminist/all-around badass Sara Benincasa. Here’s the gist of the movie: a depressed, unemployed woman submits her body to a focus group as a last-ditch effort to improve her “personal brand.” The plot might sound absurd — and there is a lot of absurdist humor in the film for sure — but The Focus Group feels real. Almost uncomfortably real at times.
Because here’s the deal: as women, every time we go out into the world, we submit ourselves to a focus group, whether we want to or not. By the time we’re 7 or 8 years old, we’re already intimately aware of our body’s “flaws” and as we get older, there’s no shortage of reminders. From schoolyard bullies to fashion magazines to catcallers on the street to rude ex-boyfriends to Instagram commenters, people are constantly weighing in on all the ways we don’t measure up. Sara’s movie asks, “What if all those messages were delivered by a literal focus group?”
The result is a touching, funny, and vulnerable short film you’ll want to forward to all your friends. Because this movie makes a point we all need to remember: the only opinion about you that matters is your own.
Watch it on Vimeo (just FYI it includes some brief nudity and NSFW language), and if you fall in love with Sara (which we’re sure you will), go get her new book too, and support female artists who are telling stories that need to be told.