Heartland: Mom & Dad's Nipple Factory
A heartwarming and compassionate movie that is more about faith and family then manufacturing areolas for breast cancer patients.
For Heartland Film Festival schedule and tickets, please click here.
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Not all innovative concepts are made in corporate or research laboratories by scientists or engineers with slews of degrees and years of experience.
Some are formulated through trial and error by ordinary people working in basements or backrooms in their small-town or suburban homes.
Filmmaker Justin Johnson’s “Mom and Dad’s Nipple Factory” tells one such story — and it is one that hits close to home for the documentarian.
Johnson eases into the story by telling us about the background of his parents — Brian and Randi Johnson. The pair are described as the personification of opposites attracting. Randi, a nurse, is a bubbly, outgoing extrovert. Brian is a quiet, detailed-oriented introvert, who, from the beginning of their lives together, was always looking out for his wife.
The couple have lived in a modest home in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, where they raised five children. Brian and Randi are conservative Christian parents with a strong spiritual bond and faith.
As Justin Johnson explains, for all his life he has seen his father as an entrepreneur, always adept at fixing or creating things.
Over the years, like many families, the Johnsons had their ups and downs and squabbles. For a time, Justin and his father was estranged.
But the greatest challenge facing the family was Randi’s diagnosis of breast cancer. Brian felt powerless and ignored by the doctors who focused solely on Randi without any thought of looping him in on how he could help and support her.
After Randi had the cancerous breast removed, she and Brian began doing research on breast reconstruction. They found Dr. Roger Khouri, a plastic surgeon at Miami Medical Center, who had created a device that seemed non-evasive.
But when it came to nipple replacement, none of the available options satisfied Randi.
So, being a tinkerer, Brian, working in his basement, created a process to make a nipple that would look natural and fit the contours of a woman’s breast.
The experience brought Brian and Randi close together and, with Randi’s urging, they founded Naturally Impressive, a nipple prosthesis mail-order company that they ran out of their home.
Over the years, Brian’s creation has helped thousands of women giving them a renewed sense of wholeness.
As Justin says, the work for his parents is “more a ministry than a business.”
Through it all, Brian has remained self-effacing, considering what he created as simply problem solving.
“Mom and Dad’s Nipple Factory” is a pleasant and compassionate movie that is more about faith and family than Brian’s invention. It is heartwarming viewing about ingenuity and, more importantly, love.
I am a founding member of the Indiana Film Journalists Association. I review movies, 4K UHD, Blu-rays and DVDs for ReelBob (ReelBob.com), The Film Yap and other print and online publications. I can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You also can follow me on Twitter @ReelBobBloom and on Facebook at ReelBob.com or the Indiana Film Journalists Association. My movie reviews also can be found at Rotten Tomatoes: www.rottentomatoes.com.