Wednesday, October 18, 2023 7:00pm
Canada 2021 Director: Michael McGowan 103 min PG
“Measured and thoughtful … Where many films would use this [premise] as a springboard for a tedious moral treatise on a hot-button issue, All My Puny Sorrows keeps the focus commendably and non-judgmentally personal.”
Guy Lodge, Variety
Based on the novel by preeminent Canadian author Miriam Toews, All My Puny Sorrows is a family drama about two sisters leading very different lives. Yoli (Alison Pill), a struggling writer, and Elf (Sarah Gadon), a successful concert pianist, are each uniquely impacted by the suicide of their father, a Mennonite patriarch. Their collective trauma reaches a critical point when Elf is hospitalized for a suicide attempt of her own. While Yoli challenges her sister’s wish to die, a sense of profound empathy, mutual respect, and deep love for one another shines through their joyful banter full of literary references and wry humour. Drawing on Toews’s real-life experience, the film raises the important and contentious issue—soon to be legal in Canada—of Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) for individuals whose sole underlying medical condition is a mental illness.
Best Canadian Film, Actress, Supporting Actress, Screenplay
Vancouver Film Critics Circle Awards (2021)
“I love this movie … What [Michael McGowan] pulls off here is a miracle of tone … Yoli, Elf, and Lottie each need something, and Pill, Gadon, and Winningham each has precisely that thing to give.” Johanna Schneller, The Globe and Mail
Welcoming remarks by Dr. Lakshmi N. Yatham
Post-screening discussion with Dr. Derryck Smith and Dr. Tyler Black, facilitated by Dr. Alison Freeland, MD, FRCPC, DFCPA
Dr. Lakshmi Yatham, professor and head, UBC Department of Psychiatry, is director of the UBC Institute of Mental Health.
Dr. Alison Freeland, board chair of the Canadian Psychiatric Association, is currently vice president of Education, Academic Affairs and Patient Experience at Trillium Health Partners, and associate dean, Mississauga Campus, at the Temerty Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto. The focus of her clinical work is the care of people with serious mental illness and substance use disorders.
Dr. Derryck Smith has been an advocate for Medical Assistance in Dying since the Sue Rodriquez case in 1994. He has testified in the Carter case 2014 and to parliament on C 14 and C 7. He is a past board member of Dying with Dignity Canada and the World Federation of Right to Die Societies. He is an active member of the Canadian Psychiatric Association Committee on MAiD.
Dr. Tyler Black is a child and adolescent psychiatrist who works both at the University of British Columbia and BC Children’s Hospital primarily in urgent and emergency cases. He is the author of the ASARI, a leading practice for suicide risk documentation and the co-author of HEARTSMAP, a psychosocial assessment tool for triaging health and social needs, as well as the co-author of the Clinical Handbook of Psychotropic Medications, Child and Adolescent Edition. He has a primary research and teaching interest in suicide and suicidology, and has testified before both the House of Commons as well as the Canadian Senate regarding medical assistance in dying. He maintains a newsletter on suicidology at suicidology.substack.com.
Moderated by Dr. Harry Karlinsky
Co-sponsored by the Canadian Psychiatric Association