THE ILLUSIONISTS is an award-winning documentary about the globalization of beauty and the dark side of advertising.


A must see documentary on body image

Sex sells. What sells even more? Insecurity. Multi-billion dollar industries saturate our lives with images of unattainable beauty, exporting body hatred from New York to Beirut to Tokyo. Their target? Women, and increasingly men and children. The Illusionists turns the mirror on media, exposing the absurd, sometimes humorous, and shocking images that seek to enslave us.


  • 85 minutes (director’s cut, home viewing)
  • 52 minutes (educational version for high schools and universities)
  • 43 minutes (educational version for middle schools)

Languages: English, French, Italian & Japanese (with English subtitles)

Foreign versions: subtitles for the film are available in Spanish, French, and Italian

WATCH: What the viewers are saying



“The genius of this piece is in its simplicity. A revelatory primer on the global manipulation of perception and consumption, The Illusionists should be required viewing in every school – and possibly every home.”

Joss Whedon | film & TV director, screenwriter and producer (The Avengers, Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

“As someone who is very involved in the conversation around body image after screening the movie, I can honestly state that The Illusionists is a game changer is opening up the body image conversation up to a world wide audience.”

Brian Cuban | Author of Shattered Image: My Triumph Over Body Dysmorphic Disorder

“The Illusionists teases apart complex ideas about power, consumerism and beauty, and leaves the viewer feeling enlightened and ready to make change. A valuable contribution to media literacy and body image education, this is an inspiring documentary with a unique global perspective!”

Claire Mysko | COO and interim CEO at the National Eating Disorders Association

“The Illusionists builds upon Jean Kilbourne’s pioneering work and offers a brilliant — and much-needed — analysis of advertising at a global level. The media literacy that The Illusionists encourages should be taught along with the basics so that children around the world have a fighting chance against the corporate-inspired conformity of a soul-dead consumer culture.”

– Denise H. Sutton, PhD | Author of Globalizing Ideal Beauty: Women, Advertising, and the Power of Marketing