Cinema Politica February Presentation

Event Details

Cinema Politica February Presentation

Time: February 19, 2015 from 7pm to 9pm
Location: Maple Ridge Municipal Hall, Council Chambers
Street: 11995 Haney Pl
City/Town: Maple Ridge
Website or Map:…
Phone: 604 466-3144
Event Type: cinema, politica, documentary, film, presentation
Organized By: Oosha Ramsoondar
Latest Activity: Jan 30, 2015

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Event Description


A Documentary About The Group That Transformed Canada's Psychiatric Landscape

In the fall of 1970 Lanny Beckman had just come out of his second stint at a Vancouver psychiatric ward. The day program he was attending wasn’t helping much. Limited to 9-5 weekday activities, and forbidden to have contact with fellow patients outside of the group, emotionally distressed participants struggled to adjust to community living. Three committed suicide, all on the weekends.

Lanny’s response revolutionized community mental health. Beckman started a radical peer advocacy and support group called MPA or Mental Patients Association – a bold “in your face” name that refuted deeply stigmatizing social attitudes toward mental health.

The group put former patients and sympathetic supporters in charge. MPA provided work, homes, a sense of belonging and empowerment to ex- patients. Members used participatory democracy for organizational decision- making. All paid jobs were decided in open elections.

For the past two years Lanny and other MPA founders have been crafting a collaborative film about the early MPA. No surprise, they have broken most of the rules of documentary filmmaking. The result? A compelling film that blends radicalism, history, and irreverent commentary on our current mental health system. The film's director Megan Davies sums it up perfectly: “The film underscores the power of story, community and pushing boundaries of what we think is possible. The MPA did that and in the world of mental health we really have to do that too”.

They call it The Inmates Are Running the Asylum.

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