15 Reasons to Live

Wednesday, January 15, 2014 – 7:30pm
Canada 2013. Director: Alan Zweig
Having weathered a lengthy episode of depression, Toronto author Ray Robertson was inspired “to write a book that explored two of life’s most central and enduring questions: What makes human beings happy? What makes life worth living?” Why Not? 15 Reasons to Live is Robertson’s personal and highly-relatable memoir of what brought meaning and happiness to his life: Love, Solitude, Critical Mind, Art, Individuality, Home, Work, Humour, Friendship, Intoxication, Praise, Meaning, The Body, Duty, and Death.
A chance meeting between Robertson and his neighbour, acclaimed documentary maker Alan Zweig (Vinyl, A Hard Name, When Jews Were Funny), set the stage for a cinematic interpretation. Using the same chapter headings as Robertson, but introducing his own cast of unique characters, Zweig brings each reason to life with poignancy, grace, and compassion. In his story on “Love,” a man confronts a mid-life crisis by walking around the world. In “Duty,” two couples risk their lives to rescue a humpback whale. In “Meaning,” a self-destructive musician finds fulfillment in an urban aviary. Interspersed with these stories are two personal tales of Zweig’s own, told with effectively dramatic animation. “A heart-warming argument in favour of striving to find happiness in life” (Dave McGinn, Globe and Mail). Official selection, 2013 Hot Docs and Vancouver I.F.F. Colour, Blu-ray Disc. 83 mins.
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Post-screening discussion with Dr. Rene Weideman, a registered psychologist with interests in psychotherapy training and individual and group psychotherapy. Dr. Weideman 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.
Moderated by Dr. Harry Karlinsky, Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia.