Family Life (also known as “Wednesday’s Child”)

Thursday, October 17, 2002 – 7:30pm
Great Britain 1971. Director: Ken Loach

A landmark film within the British realist cinematic tradition from Ken Loach (“Riff-Raff ”, “Raining Stones”, “Ladybird, Ladybird,” “Land and Freedom”), the celebrated director best known for the socially conscious humanity that permeates his work. “Family Life” is a politically charged and emotionally affecting drama (written by David Mercer, based on his play, “In Two Minds”) about Janice (Sandy Ratcliffe), an emotionally fragile teenage girl who finds herself at the centre of a raging battle of wills between her strict and unsympathetic parents and the indifferent state medical system charged with treating her. Forced by her parents to have an abortion, Janice begins a downward spiral made worse by the bureaucratic nightmare of a staterun mental hospital which treats her without compassion or regard for her situation, exacerbated by her own family. The filmmaker wrings raw and finely nuanced performances from his cast of actors, portraying working class people with little insight into the vicious cycle in which they find themselves. Within Loach’s fierce indictment of Britain’s woefully unenlightened, callously indifferent mental health care system of the time lies a humane portrait of a shattered family. “Family Life” displays “such sympathy for its characters, such insight into their small victories and not so small defeats, as to hold us spellbound from start to finish.” (The National Review)
Colour, VHS 108 mins.

The program will include:
A post-screening discussion with:
Dr. Derryck Smith
Dr Smith is the Head, Division of Child Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, UBC; and Head, Department of Psychiatry, Children’s and Women’s Health Centre of BC. Dr. Smith will be speaking about counseling families in crisis – how family members can learn to recognize the signs of mental illness and respond effectively.

Evening moderated by:
Dr. Harry Karlinsky
Director of Continuing Medical Education and Professional Development, Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia.

This evening is co-sponsored by the f.o.r.c.e. Society For Kids’ Mental Health.