In the voiceover for this animated short, a young woman attempts to describe herself, casting her life in the ideal light that society expects. The film’s imagery, however, tells a different story, poignantly illustrating the intense anxiety that comes with the quest for perfection and the pursuit of happiness. A film that’s both funny and moving, and above all, profoundly human.
WARNING: This film discusses the topic of OCD. Viewer discretion is advised.
This feature documentary explores the daily lives of individuals living with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), a misunderstood anxiety disorder characterized by intrusive thoughts, nagging fears and ritualistic behaviour. From the outside, its sufferers have no physical disabilities and have every appearance of being as functional as the next person. But inside, a daily war is waged for survival.
This short documentary is a fascinating portrait of the Vancouver Mental Patients' Association (MPA), a unique, democratically-organized advocacy and support group for people who have sought care in the mental health system. While client-centred care and advocacy in mental health are relatively more common now, they were unfamiliar concepts in the 1970s, and this film sheds light on the birth of this nascent movement. The MPA provides support and a space for discussion, which helps those dealing with mental health problems to re-integrate into their communities after sojourns in hospitals or other institutions. Members' comments afford some insight into what has been called the "mental health industry."
A blend of drama and documentary, this film follows several people caught up in the turmoil of the modern world. The drama centres on a woman who has burned out and who holds up her own despair – and her attempts to rebuild her life – as a mirror to the rest of us. With a blend of gravity and humour, Sylvie Groulx's film shows the absurdity of a society dedicated to the cult of speed at all costs.
The NFB's 75th Oscar®-nominated film.
Dealing with what comes naturally isn’t easy, especially for animals. In Animal Behaviour, the latest animated short from the Oscar®-winning team of Alison Snowden and David Fine (Bob’s Birthday), five animals meet regularly to discuss their inner angst in a group therapy session led by Dr. Clement, a canine psychotherapist. The group includes Lorraine, a leech who suffers from separation anxiety; Cheryl, a praying mantis who can’t seem to keep a man; Todd, a pig with an eating disorder; Jeffrey, a bird with guilt issues; and Linda, an obsessive-compulsive cat.
An illustration of the rather unique way in which the day hospital of the Allan Memorial Institute in Montréal helps patients back to mental and emotional health. Patients not requiring full hospitalization come for daytime treatment and return to their homes at night. The case presented is that of a young woman who is under severe emotional stress. Interviews with a psychiatrist and group therapy sessions reveal the root of her trouble and set her on the path to overcoming her problem.
Strength. Challenges. Courage. Modern Alchemy depicts a quest for self-knowledge that revolves around resilience, reconstruction and rebirth. A succession of colours, each more vibrant than the last, in which one stops breathing for a moment to find a path toward inner peace. A film from the Alambic collection, a creative lab by the NFB’s French Program Animation Studio that’s designed for emerging filmmakers.
Exploring the conscious, the unconscious and the self, By Winds and Tides takes a deep experimental dive into the birth of an idea—how it takes shape, how it is released. An allegorical quest, the film combines images and words into a singular sigh. A film from the Alambic collection, a creative lab by the NFB’s French Program Animation Studio that’s designed for emerging filmmakers.
Solid Ground is a poetic and sound-rich travelogue—a personal journal that reveals the thoughts of an expatriate returning to her native land. Employing the rarely used monotype animation technique, Solid Groundreflects the personal experience of discovering different lands and feeling as though one were simultaneously at home and elsewhere. A film from the Alambic collection, a creative lab by the NFB’s French Program Animation Studio that’s designed for emerging filmmakers.
This animated short introduces us to Grace, a 10-year-old girl who uses her creative superpowers to navigate the emotional landscape of her mother's depression. It's an inspiring portrait of family, adversity, and resilience.Using hand-drawn animation to bring two distinct worlds together – the muted, solid world of reality and the saturated palette of Grace's imagination – the film offers a textured story full of surprises, challenges, and emotions. A moving collaboration between writer/filmmaker Wanda Nolan and animator Claire Blanchet.
This feature documentary profiles four residents of the Brockville Mental Health Centre, a forensic psychiatric hospital for people who have committed violent crimes. Four patients—two men and two women—struggle to gain control over their lives so they can return to a society that often fears and demonizes them. Shrouded in stigma, institutions like this one are places into which patients disappear from public view for years.
Four-time Emmy winner John Kastner was granted unprecedented access to the Brockville facility for 18 months, allowing 46 patients and 75 staff to share their experiences with stunning frankness.
For more background information on this film, please visit the NFB.ca blog.