Young Freud in Gaza

Wednesday, October 21, 2009 – 7:30pm
Sweden, 2008. Directors: PeÅ Holmquist and Suzanne Khardalian

FilmVANCOUVER PREMIERE! Young Freud in Gaza profiles Ayed, a young psychotherapist working in the Palestinian Authority’s Clinic for Mental Health. He provides therapy to a variety of patients — male and female, adults and children — for depression, stress, anxiety attacks and suicidal tendencies. Filmed from 2006 to 2008, against a backdrop of armed clashes between Hamas and Fatah factions, Israeli missile attacks, and the constant overhead presence of a surveillance dirigible, the documentary shows Ayed training young wives and mothers in deep-breathing exercises to calm anxiety, counselling maimed Hamas and Fatah militants in meditation techniques, and leading children in group therapy sessions in which they discuss their reaction to the death of siblings and draw pictures to cope with their emotions. The film also captures Ayed at home, relating to his parents and other family members and friends, in the process revealing that this young mental-health doctor is struggling with personal issues of his own, including serious doubts about his ability to help his patients. As Ayed acknowledges, ‘Gaza needs a million psychologists'” (adapted from Icarus Films). “Arresting…a fair-minded, intimately probing documentary…There’s no question that the very definition of psychotherapy means something different under occupation” (Ella Taylor, Village Voice). Colour, Digibeta video, 58 mins.

Post-screening discussion with Dr. Rene Weideman.

Dr. Weideman is a registered psychologist with interests in psychotherapy training and individual and group psychotherapy.  He is the Director of the Clinical Psychology Centre in the Department of Psychology at Simon Fraser University and the Associate Director (Faculty Affairs) of the Psychotherapy Training Program in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of British Columbia.  He also has a part-time private practice.

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