Thursday, June 16, 2005 – 7:30 pm
Australia/United Kingdom, 1996. Director: Scott Hicks
Cast: Geoffrey Rush, Lynn Redgrave, John Gielgud, Noah Taylor, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Googie Withers
An unexpected international box office sensation, Shine grossed well over $100 million worldwide and garnered seven Academy Award nominations (including Best Film), with newcomer Geoffrey Rush taking home the Best Actor Award. The film is based on the true story of David Helfgott, an Australian pianist and child prodigy who is emotionally brutalized by his father (Armin Mueller-Stahl), suffers a catastrophic mental breakdown and is confined to a mental hospital. Many years later, the adult David (Geoffrey Rush) meets Gillian (Lynn Redgrave), and with her help, makes the arduous journey back to the stages of great concert halls. Despite its considerable success, the film caused great controversy and discontent, especially from members of Helfgott’s own family who felt that many of the aspects in this ‘true story’, and the portrait of the family and father in particular, were unjust and inaccurate (the real father, by his children’s account, was a kind man who wished only the best for his children). The film has also been taken to task for what some see as its superficial and misleading account of mental illness as experienced by David Helfgott. Essential viewing for anyone interested in psychiatric cinema for the manner in which it deals with families, institutions and the experience of illness. Colour, 35mm. 105 mins.
The program will include a post-screening discussion with:
Dr Mark Welch, recently arrived from Australia and currently employed as an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, is a psychiatric nurse with a life long interest, not to say obsession, with the movies. He brought his two main interests together in his PhD thesis which examined the representation of madness in popular Western film, and has presented and published on these topics.
Evening moderated by:
Dr. Harry Karlinsky Director of Continuing Medical Education and Professional Development, Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia.