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NCR: Not Criminally Responsible

NCR: Not Criminally Responsible (Trailer)

| 1 min

Directed by John Kastner, this feature documentary about violence, mental illness, and the rights of victims tells the story of a troubled young man who stabbed a complete stranger 6 times in a crowded shopping mall while gripped by psychosis. Twelve years later, his victim, who miraculously survived, is terrified to learn that he’s out, living in the community under supervision. He’s applying for an absolute discharge, and if he succeeds, he’ll no longer be required to take the anti-psychotic drugs that control his mental illness. With unprecedented access to the patient, the victim, and the mental institution, the film looks at both sides of the debate and puts a human face on the complex ethical issues raised.

This film deals with mature subject matter. Viewer discretion is advised

  • producer
    John Kastner
    Deborah Parks
    Silva Basmajian
  • director
    John Kastner
  • writer
    John Kastner
  • executive producer
    Silva Basmajian
  • production executive
    Mark Starowicz
    Michael Claydon
  • creative head
    Bruce Cowley
  • editor
    Michael Hannan
  • director of photography
    John Westheuser
    Derek Rogers
  • location sound recording
    Doug Kaye
  • composer
    Bruce Fowler
  • associate producer
    Nicole Rogers
  • researcher
    Nicole Rogers
  • additional photography
    John Tran
  • additional sound
    Richard Nault
    Don Stewart
  • location photographer
    Geoff George
  • supervising sound editor
    Stephen Barden
  • recording mixer
    Stephen Barden
  • sound effects editor
    Niall Collins
    Patton Rodrigues
  • dialogue editor
    Ryan Ongara
  • violin
    Bridget Hunt
    Wendy Rose
  • viola
    Kent Teeple
  • cello
    Marie Gélinas
  • music preparation
    Rebecca Pellet
  • music score engineer
    Mike Duncan
  • online editor
    Andrew Mandziuk
  • graphics
    Mark Alberts
  • transcription
    Chris Warren
  • production accountant
    Anne Sinclair
  • production auditor
    Steven Friedman
  • entertainment lawyer
    Gigi Morin
    Iain MacKinnon
  • publicity
    Jennifer Mair
    David McCaughna
  • production insurance
    Judy Heron
  • production supervisor
    Mark Wilson
  • centre administrator
    Josiah Rothenberg
  • production coordinator
    Rachel Punwassie
  • technical coordinator
    Marcus Matyas
  • consultant
    Lisa Ramshaw
    Shawn White
    Hy Bloom


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Ages 15 to 18

Health/Personal Development - Mental Health/Stress/Suicide
Media Education - Documentary Film
Social Studies - Law

Use the Canadian Mental Health Association website ( to research OCD (anxiety disorder) and schizophrenia in more detail. Have small groups research additional mental illnesses and create visual presentations. Conduct a “gallery walk” where the class moves around to each of the presentation stations. This film personalizes mental illness through the lens of Sean’s story; does this make “taking a side” on the crime more difficult? What does “not criminally responsible” mean to the students?

NCR: Not Criminally Responsible (Trailer)
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