Friday, May 29, 2015

Documentary Review-- Sugar Babies: The Bittersweet Truth About Diabetes

This three-part documentary series from filmmaker Jenny Mackenzie takes the viewer on a journey into the world of Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes. It does so by following Mackenzie’s own daughter’s struggle with the disease from the age of four as well as that of other patients.

I found the personal angle of the documentary fascinating as we watch the small child grow into a teenager struggling to balance her new-found freedom with the responsibility that comes with her condition. It also detailed her mother’s (as well as another parent’s) fear over the loss of control they now have over their children’s health, given the potentially dire consequences.

I also appreciated the broader look at the issue. When I first saw the title, I wondered if the film would mostly focus on the “all sugar is evil all the time” idea I’ve seen out there a lot. It does touch on the issue of way too many deserts (particularly in regards to Type 2), but it also brings up the processed food diet with questionable ingredients, sedentary lifestyles, and the possibility of environmental factors. As someone who knows someone whose family was afflicted with the disease as a result of Agent Orange exposure, I appreciate the overall balanced view.

This film gives a no-holds-barred look into the delicate balancing act that is managing diabetes by showing the children getting their blood sugar checked, doctor visits, careful monitoring of diet, and the medication necessary to stay healthy. It also gives insight into the healthcare providers who are helping patients battle the disease. Recommended for anyone who is dealing with the condition as well as those who are looking to protect their own health.

Sugar Babies will be available online via Virgil Films on June 2, 2015.