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Bedlam

Wednesday, September 18, 2019 – 7:30 pm
USA, 2019. Dir: Kenneth Paul Rosenberg. 85 min. DCP

VANCOUVER PREMIERE! The practice of committing mentally ill individuals to long-term institutions reached its apex in the 1950s, when over half a million people in the United States resided within asylums. With the de-institutionalization movement of the 1960s, these places all but disappeared, but the resources meant for community-based care never materialized. Today, untold thousands of mentally ill people are homeless (390,000 in 2015, according to a government study), and, to a greater and greater extent, incarcerated. Filmmaker and practicing psychiatrist Ken Rosenberg shines a light into the darkest corners of this national catastrophe, motivated in part by his sister, Merle, diagnosed at 20 with schizophrenia. Focusing his lens on the “epicentre of today’s crisis,” the streets of Los Angeles County and the state’s overburdened psychiatric emergency rooms, Rosenberg follows a handful of severely mentally ill people over a five year period, detailing their struggles and hard-won (sometimes heartbreakingly short-term) victories. “A damning indictment and a call to action – lucid, harrowing and urgent.” (Sheri Linden, Hollywood Reporter)

Post-screening discussion (via Skype) with Dr. Kenneth Paul Rosenberg, a New York City-based psychiatrist specializing in addiction medicine, author, and director/producer of award-winning documentaries for over thirty years. Dr. Rosenberg is a Peabody Award-winning filmmaker, with six films for HBO and three films for PBS on mental health issues, including An Alzheimer’s Story, Drinking Apart: Families Under the Influence, the Oscar-shortlisted Why Am I Gay: Stories of Coming Out In America and Back from Madness: The Struggle for Sanity, the first film screened at Frames of Mind, way back in September, 2002!

Moderated by Dr. Harry Karlinsky, Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia.