Charlize Theron won the Best Actress Oscar for her fearless portrayal of notorious serial murderer Aileen Wuornos, who was executed in Florida in 2002 after being convicted of killing six men over a nine month period. Wuornos confessed to seven murders, including that of a policeman, but claimed to have killed only in self-defence; in each case, she maintained, she was resisting violent assault while working as a prostitute. After a cruel childhood plagued by sexual and physical abuse, drug use and abandonment, Wuornos had become a prostitute by the age of 13. Monster takes up her story in 1989, with Wuornos homeless and plying her trade on the highways of Florida. She meets Selby (Christina Ricci), a naive young lesbian with whom she begins a relationship. Experiencing something like love for the first time in her life, and desperate for a “normal” existence, Wuornos continues hooking in order to support Selby. When a client rapes and threatens to kill Wuornos, she shoots him in self-defence. She then decides that the next john deserves to die. And the next … Colour, 35mm. 109 mins.
Post-screening discussion with Dr. Stephen Hart of Simon Fraser University, an internationally recognized expert in the assessment and management of violence risk. Dr. Hart has conducted training for legal, law enforcement, corrections and mental health professionals throughout North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. He holds a Ph.D. in clinical and forensic psychology from the University of British Columbia and has authored or co-authored 150 scientific books, chapters and articles.
Co-sponsored by the Medical Legal Society of British Columbia.
Moderated by Dr. Harry Karlinsky, Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia.
Frames of Mind is a monthly film event utilizing film and video to promote professional and community education on issues pertaining to mental health and illness.
For more information, see the Pacific Cinémathèque Program Guide