Gap-Toothed Women: Les Blank Docu

Living up to its title, Les Blank’s 30-minute- long documentary “Gap Toothed Women” centers on women who happen to have a slight space between their two upper front teeth, and don’t feel bad or strange about it.

Taking a cross-cultural survey, Blanks shows that in various societies, the peculiar phenomenon has been looked upon as the essence of beauty, a sign of sexual appetite, even a mark of God’s favor, but very differently in the West and in the U.S.

In addition to gap teeth, which have affected each interviewee differentially, these women display a healthy sense of humor and often smarts that make them good company.

In his sampling of such women, about 30, Blank has chosen celebs, such as model-turned actress Lauren Hutton (“American Gigolo”), who arguably advertised this attribute more than others, Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, singer Claudia Schmidt, as well as “ordinary” women, though the very trait still makes them extraordinary.

Since some of the women are not only bright but also very proud, “Gap Toothed Women” also emerges as unexpected celebration of and tribute to what could be called “the feminine mystique.”

The response to the film at the NY Film Fest was most enthusiastic, indicating that there was an audience for this cross-cultural, quasi-anthropological work. Here is one docu that could have been longer without overextending its welcome, or damaging its integrity.