CLick Here to Download Review by critic Tulis McCall (PDF)

  ABSOLUTELY SAFE offers women of all ages a unique set of perspectives about the true risks and benefits of silicone gel implants. We listen to women tell their stories, we hear from plastic surgeons with opposing views about the safety of these devices, and we witness illuminating footage from several public hearings conducted by the Food and Drug Administration. It is the perfect antidote to ads and TV shows that now routinely mislead women into thinking that these devices have been proven to be safe.”

– Judy Norsigian, Co-Author and Executive Director, Our Bodies Ourselves



“This moving and disturbing film follows the journeys of two women, one seeking to have her leaking implants removed, the other seeking to have breast augmentation. Interspersed with these tales we meet plastic surgeons both for and against the surgery; women who have suffered mightily due to their silicone implants, including the filmmaker’s mother; and members of the FDA committee who decide whether or not to allow silicone back on the market. All along the viewer feels powerfully the impact pressures to be beautiful have and have had on American women. Breast implants clearly “solve” the problem while introducing myriad new ones. ABSOLUTELY SAFE should be mandatory viewing for every woman considering surgery. Watching the brutal extraction of failed implants from a patient’s chest wall should be enough to give anyone pause. And the young mother who decided to get implants shares with us her loss of breast sensation. A sense of sadness lingers over the scene. This film makes starkly clear that the female sense of inadequacy is not an individual phenomenon. Institutionalized sexism affects all of us. Destroying our health seems to be an acceptable solution. ABSOLUTELY SAFE bravely challenges the status quo.”

– Diana York Blaine, Ph.D., University of Southern California ,
The Writing and Gender Studies Program




“Harrowing, human, and persuasive, ABSOLUTELY SAFE is an important and beautifully made piece that explores the sometimes deadly and disfiguring consequences of breast implants. Full of nuanced observations, the film chronicles the experience of women who are in various stages of either choosing to get breast implants, or to have them removed. ABSOLUTELY SAFE is a story that must be told and absolutely must be seen.”

– Rob Moss, Director of Secrecy and The Same River Twice“



We were interested in this film as breast implants have become the most popular elective surgery in Israel in the last few years. It has also become affordable to almost everyone. We believe in educating our viewers as to all aspects of these types of surgeries and this film sheds a light on the possible dangers that are involved in these surgeries.”

– Daphna Israeli, YES Network, Israel“



A compassionate and compelling look at the debate over the safety of breast implants, Carol Ciancutti-Leyva, in her directorial debut, begins from the personal (for nearly thirty years Ciancutti-Leyva's own mother. Audrey Ciancutti, has suffered from illnesses related to her ruptured silicone breast implants). Ciancutti-Leyva documents both sides of the debate; on the one side is Deneé Dimiceli, a healthy vibrant young woman from Houston, Texas, who has made the decision to have breast implants after years of insecurities over her breast size, and on the other side is Wendy Myers, a woman who was once healthy and energetic before having silicone breast implants in the 1980s. Myers believes that her health problems (dizziness, fatigue, joint pain, hair loss and nipple discharge) were caused when her breast implants ruptured in a car accident. Also on either side of the debate are Dr. Franklin Rose, a respected and experienced board-certified plastic surgeon in the United States who believes that breast implants, both silicone and saline, are safe products, while Dr. Edward Melmed, a unique board-certified plastic surgeon in the United States because he is one of the few plastic surgeons who is willing to remove breast implants without replacing them, believes that breast implants are making women sick. Ciancutti-Leyva gently guides the viewer through the double-speak of the world of cosmetic surgery to expose a deeper mourning that evolves from the realization that women's bodies are still the sites of violation with impunity. As Dr. Melmed even implies during one interview, breast implants would have never been approved had they been for men's bodies. A must-see!”

– Carolyn Shimmin, Information Centre Coordinator, Canadian Women’s Health Network