Some sugar coat­ing helps share mes­sage

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Film - Ju­lian Wright

DA­MON Gameau has drawn the line on us­ing him­self as a guinea pig for his fu­ture doc­u­men­tary film ideas.

The Aus­tralian ac­tor turned doc­u­men­tary film­maker, who had fol­lowed a re­fined sugar-free diet for three years, be­gan ingest­ing per­ceived health food and drink prod­ucts to ex­pose their health risks for That Su­garFilm.

It was not long into his 60-day ex­per­i­ment of a ce­real, smoothie, low­fat yo­ghurt diet that he was di­ag­nosed with fatty liver dis­ease and had gained 10cm of fat around his waist, de­spite keep­ing up his ex­er­cise regime.

“The ex­perts were con­vinced I was crazy, but I was naïve,” he said.

“When I got fatty liver dis­ease, the scope changed; not only was there a phys­i­cal change, but my mood and be­hav­iour changed, I was lethar­gic and ir­ri­ta­ble; I was a dif­fer­ent per­son and I was on edge.

“My point has been made and I was lucky I didn’t go too far.

“For the sake of my fam­ily, I won’t do it again.”

And he’s not rush­ing into his next project just yet, ei­ther.

“I have some ideas but I want to see this one through first,” he said.

“It has been sold around the world and I would like to see it used in class­rooms to ed­u­cate chil­dren; that is what it is de­signed for.”

While the health ef­fects are ev­i­dent in his doc­u­men­tary, Gameau said he did not want to de­monise sugar.

“That was a con­scious de­ci­sion; I did not want to be preachy about it,” he said.

“I wanted to give hope, not cause fear. I al­ways kept in mind an Os­car Wilde quote: ‘If you want to tell peo­ple the truth, make them laugh, oth­er­wise they’ll kill you.’”

Gameau will be in Perth for three Q and A screen­ings, two on Mon­day, March 23 at Luna on SX and Event Cine­mas and one at Luna Leed­erville on Tues­day, March 24.

In­for­ma­tion and bookings at www.lu­nacin­e­mas.com.au or www.eventcin­e­mas.com.au.

Da­mon Gameau di­rected doc­u­men­tary That Sugar Film.

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