Wheelchair Accessible Venue
Heather Lenz / 2018 / USA / 80 min / FREE
TOPIC: CELEBRITY, INSTITUTIONALIZATION, POP CULTURE, VISUAL ART
TYPE: FILM, PANEL/Q&A, VISUAL ART
Trace the tumultuous and triumphant journey of Yayoi Kusama, the Infinity Mirrors visionary who overcame mental health struggles to become the biggest-selling female artist in the world. Emerging as a rival to Andy Warhol in the ‘60s, the Japanese artist battled with childhood trauma, prejudice and depression, voluntarily spending over three decades living in a Tokyo psychiatric hospital and using art therapy as a way to cope. Kusama: Infinity beautifully delves into her astonishingly prolific career, the influence of her dazzling polka-dotted visions—which she describes as “art medicine”—and the power of embracing weirdness.
Followed by a Q&A with special guests and subject matter experts.
In partnership with Bell Let’s Talk and Hot Docs, we’re showcasing a series of free docs-and-conversations about mental health leading up to and on the 10th annual Bell Let’s Talk Day. Join the conversation to break the stigma around mental illness and help create positive change. Each doc will feature a post-screening Q&A with special guests and experts.
In recognition of the potentially triggering content of the participating films, supportive listeners will be present at each screening.
Tickets: FREE (maximum of two per person). Available as of Tuesday, January 7.
Kenneth Paul Rosenberg / 2019 / USA / 84 min / Canadian Premiere
Haunted by the death of his sister Merle, psychiatrist Kenneth Paul Rosenberg takes on the role of documentary filmmaker to examine a national health crisis in the US. Bedlam follows personal stories of people living with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and other chronic mental health issues with a television-style precision. Bedlam describes the deinstitutionalization triggers pulled in the mid- and late 20th century (which occurred in Canada as well) to create this ‘bedlam’ on an inter/national scale. Created over the course of five years, Bedlam takes us inside Los Angeles County’s overwhelmed and vastly under-resourced psychiatric ER; a nearby jail warehousing thousands of patients; and people suffering from severe mental health issues in their homes and homeless encampments, where silence and shame often worsen the suffering.
Talking at Night
Eric Thiessen | 2017 | Canada | 6 mins
Director Eric Thiessen captures behind-the-scenes experiences of Saskatoon’s Mobile Crisis Centre staff as they provide 24/7 crisis resolution to people in distress.
De-institutionalization On Both Sides Of The Border
How has de-institutionalization shaped Toronto? Have we fared any better in the practice of de-institutionalization than our US counterparts? The history of de-institutionalization in our city has led to the Mad Pride movement, shaped the neighbourhood of Parkdale (and others in the GTA) and continues to alter hospital emergency rooms, shelter systems and community-based harm reduction centres. In witnessing how the United States systems have been affected in the documentary Bedlam, we will use this film as a counterpoint to reflect on where we have been and where we are going here at home.
Nance Ackerman, Teresa MacInnes, Ariella Pahlke / 2019 / Canada / 78 min
“It’s not that we wanna be here... where else do we have to go?"
– Bianca Mercer
Bianca Mercer is one of many women affected by Canada’s ineffective prison system. With more resources being invested into prisons than communities, women have become the highest growing prison population in the world.
In Conviction, a team of documentary filmmakers gain access to a female correctional facility in Nova Scotia to tackle the crisis from within. Instead of simply conducting interviews, the filmmakers collaborate with Bianca and other women in the facility to create a deeply personal and prisoner’s-eye documentary. Utilizing cameras, spoken word poetry and art supplies, the women share their experiences with institutionalization and unapologetically address the ineptitude of incarceration. What can we do to prevent women from being imprisoned in the first place and stop systemic re-institutionalization? Working alongside the Elizabeth Fry Society and the filmmakers, the women envision a better alternative to a failing criminal justice system to build communities; not cages.
Join us for our first panel discussion, which will include Conviction’s filmmaker Ariella Pahlke, subject Tanya Bignell, guests with lived experience of incarceration, Canadian Senator Kim Pate, and representatives from the Elizabeth Fry Society. Moderated by Orev Reena Katz, a Mental Health Correctional Chaplain, they will discuss the various realities and difficulties for women living with mental health issues within a correctional facility. Why are women the fastest growing segment of the prison system in Canada? How do we support, encourage and make space for the growth of women on the inside?