The opening sequence of Strip Down, Rise Up shows us a montage suggesting the healing power of erotic bodies on women dealing with shame and trauma of everyday life. The Michèle Ohayon’s documentary currently streaming on Netflix gives us a peek into the lives of people who pole dance – it shines light on themes like competition, eroticism, and athleticism. The Netflix original has Michele Ohayon at the forefront, exposing the healing properties of this sensual art form.
In the documentary, we see a group of women embark on a six-month long journey with celebrity instructor, Sheila Kelly. All members of the group come with a set of emotional baggage. One of them is a widow processing the affair of her late husband,while the other one is a survivor of sexual abuse. These women are all struggling with body image issues, sexual identity, and self-loathing.
In addition, there’s Amy Bond – a competitive pole dancer and pro bono attorney – who’s helping other women realize the worth and strength of their bodies. She is empowering these women and helping them shed the life-long shame they’ve been carrying with them because of their unhealthy relationship with their bodies.
All of these stories we witness on screen are chanting the profound lesson of female empowerment and body autonomy. You’ll be moved by this terrifyingly transforming life experience where women reclaim their own bodies.
In the past, we’ve watched several movies that are centered aroundthe theme of shame. In this documentary, it was an enriching experience to watch these women deal with shame. At one point, it is said “Shame will hold you prisoner, but really all shame wants is to come into the light and be let go.” This is a strong message for women as it encourages them to let go of their inhibitions and break free from the norms set by society.
The documentary puts the spotlight on female body without sexualizing it. The documentary is different, as it’s created by a mostly-female crew, which is evident from the narrative. The documentary sensitively deals with body shaming and teaches you to embrace all shapes, sizes, and colors. At no point would you feel that the bodies are being objectified. On the contrary, it simply address the capability of female sensuality.
The visuals are breathtaking and the experience is illuminatingly cathartic as you witness a 50 year old widow let go off her apprehensions and the decades-long guilt. However, you’ll also find that some women give up as they’re not prepared for the discomfort the program would bring to their life.
The documentary is not one-dimensional, it covers all grounds and considers freedom of all kinds. It gives women the encouragement they need to rebuild their homes and snatch back the right over their body – something the society ripped them off long ago.
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Guess we can all agree that the major documentary reveal that imprinted our mind were that of the astonishing wonders of pole dancing.