BBC, 2013

“Engle’s film-making is never exploitative, mocking or intrusive. Her subjects talk because they trust her, and she repays them”
The Daily Mail

All over the country, in Britain’s churches and community halls, tens of thousands of people - mainly women - attend slimming clubs every week. Obesity rates are soaring - despite the fact that more people than ever are on a diet.  This documentary follows members from three different slimming clubs over a three-month period as they try to lose weight.  With unprecedented access to a Weight Watchers group, a Slimming World group and a Rosemary Conley group, this humorous and warm-hearted film explores why we have such a complicated relationship with food and why so many of us struggle to stay in control of what we eat.  The film features revealing contributions from two sisters who have lost 18 stone between them, a 48 year old woman who wants to lose a stone in order to fit back into her designer clothes, a mother and daughter originally from Ghana who put on weight eating too much African food, a divorced man who lives with his parents, three young students who have been slimming since they were in primary school and a woman with Body Dysmorphic Disorder, who attends a slimming club three times a week.


“Venerable documentary-maker Vanessa Engle had better make some room on her mantelpiece as she’ll soon be needing it for the awards that will come her way as a result of this clever forensic look at three different slimming clubs. A fascinating album of memorable portraits of real human beings”
The Observer
“One of the BBC’s most accomplished directors, Vanessa Engle has in recent years built up an unrivalled reputation when it comes to gentle, witty, life-enhancing documentaries. In previous films she has turned her very keen eye on such varied topics as the decline of left-wing politics, feminism, family finance and dog ownership, always drilling down to the real and usually deeply English heart of the matter. A lovely, engaging film.”
The Telegraph
“From radical feminism to dog walking, director Vanessa Engle is capable of bringing her own unique sensibility to bear on almost any subject. Utilising a mixture of gentle humour, kindly but insistent probing and occasional flashes of bleak, profound insight, her trick is to always ask one more question. Never po-faced and all the more affecting for it, this is another worthy addition to Engle’s impressive documentary canon”
Time Out
“In her films, opinions are teased out, and delusions revealed, but Engle’s questions never sound judgmental, just endlessly curious. We hear her voice throughout: her subjects are tickled with warmth and humour until they surrender and spill”
The Guardian
“Engle’s lightness of touch was transformative. By selecting material that perfectly captured her interviewees as people, and then cutting it together with mischief and acuity, she produced a film that was sharp, tight and constantly funny”
The Telegraph
“Engle can be relied upon for the best kind of TV documentary – a complex web of mini portraits rather than a glib grand narrative”
The Independent on Sunday
“A subtle and talented director, Engle is an inordinately kind filmmaker, non-judgemental and always able to connect with her interviewees”
The New Statesman


Producer/director: VANESSA ENGLE



Assistant producer: LIZ KEMPTON

Film editor: JAN CHOLAWO

Executive producer: CLARE SILLERY