Physician, Heal Thyself

Wednesday March 20, 2024 7:00pm

Canada 2023. Director Asher Penn 78 min


A probing look at the origin story of an influential mind.”

Pat Mullen, POV Magazine

Gabor Maté, physician and author of best-selling books In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts and When the Body Says No, is one of Canada’s most celebrated intellectuals. Known for his work on addiction, trauma, and harm reduction, in Physician, Heal Thyself Maté offers a rare glimpse into his personal life. Born in Hungary to a Jewish family, Maté candidly describes the impact of the Holocaust on his childhood and the lingering scar the experience left upon his psyche. Home videos and animated sequences complement stories of his youth as a student journalist and activist, his evolving career ambitions, and raising a family with his wife (the artist Rae Maté). Throughout the film, Maté’s empathy for vulnerable individuals shows up in myriad ways. Stretching across his many professional accomplishments and inner struggles, Maté’s reflections remind us that healing, emotional growth, and self-acceptance are a continual process, even for those who have achieved outward success.

Audience Award (Insights)
VIFF 2023

An excellent portrait of Gabor Maté … and a great documentary.” Atom Egoyan

Post-screening discussion with Dr. Gabor Maté and director Asher Penn.

A member of the Order of Canada, Dr. Gabor Maté is known worldwide for his best-selling books, public media appearances, and his groundbreaking work in connecting addiction to childhood trauma. His latest book, written with his son Daniel, is titled The Myth of Normal: Trauma, Illness and Healing in a Toxic Culture.

Over the past 15 years, Asher Penn has conducted, edited and published over 150 interviews with cultural figures ranging from William Gibson to Grimes. He is the producer of the experimental documentary Maggie Lee’s MommyPhysician, Heal Thyself is his first feature film.

Moderated by Dr. Harry Karlinsky, series director