Jessica Habie spent her early career documenting the relationship between art and social change. As an independent filmmaker, she focused mostly on stories of war, genocide, and human rights abuses in the Middle East. Her feature film Mars at Sunrise (2014) starred Golden Globe-winning actor Ali Suliman, her short film Mandatory Service (2008) won Best Documentary Short at the Tribeca Film Festival and her documentary Meet Me Out of the Siege (2008) won at the Cannes Short Film Corner.
“I was just about to do it again. Tell another experimental, sad story about men trying to kill each other, when I had full-body “NO.” I want to do something different,” she recalls from her Berkeley studio. “I want to tell stories about something positive. I want to tell women’s stories. I want to look at stories of pleasure.”
Pleasure and the body’s ability to heal through pleasure is something that Habie has grappled with since she was first diagnosed with breast cancer at age 29. A year after she underwent a double mastectomy operation at age 34, Habie found herself studying at the Somatica Institute for Sex and Relationship Coaching.
The Somatica Method was created by Danielle Harel, Ph.D. and Celeste Hirschman MA. They created Somatica to fill a gap in the fields of therapy and adult sexuality education. It is an experiential and relational coaching method that helps people transform their emotional and erotic connections. Through mutually vulnerable practice, Somatica Coaches help their clients overcome shame, embrace their desires, heal attachment wounds, and have extraordinary sex and relationships.
“I finally made it to the Somatica Training because I wanted to work with women who were survivors of breast cancer and to use the Somatica method to help these women get back into their bodies. But, as the first training started, I realized there was a much bigger story to be told. It just opened up in front of me! This is a TV show.”