Jane Fonda in Five Acts

Director: Susan Lacy

Institute History

  • 2018 Sundance Film Festival


Will the real Jane Fonda please stand up? This catchphrase (from the old TV show To Tell the Truth), sums up the heart of master documentarian Susan Lacy’s definitive examination into the life and work of a true American icon who has always confounded labels and outpaced the zeitgeist. Girl next door, sex kitten, political activist, fitness tycoon, feminist, Academy Award winner—Jane Fonda has lived a life of controversy, tragedy, and transformation, all in the public eye.

Fonda opens her soul to Lacy in a blend of vulnerability, magnetism, and bravery, exposing her life and her missteps. She explores the pain of her mother’s suicide, her father’s emotional unavailability, 30 years of bulimia, and three marriages to high-profile, diametrically opposed men. Jane Fonda in Five Acts is a star-studded yet profoundly intimate look at one extraordinarily singular journey. Lacy’s film, as its title implies, is structured into five parts. The first four are named for men in Fonda’s life. It’s in the fifth act that the real Jane Fonda stands up.

— D.C.

Screening Details


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