After diligent detective work and good cooperation with Bob Foss and the Swedish Film Institute it is with great joy and respect we now can announce that at the festival we will show the film Philadelphia Network from 1977 by Bob Foss and H. Å. Gabrielsson. In the film we follow R.D. Laing and his colleagues in their work with Community Houses in London. The film is one of the few available important historical documents of a time when a major movement existed to create distinct alternatives to conventional psychiatry. It is a document that shows people who by virtue of their knowledge, conviction and determination made it possible to at least for a time do something else. Something that went against prejudice and inhumane psychiatric care.
Read more about the film here.
Signe Bauman about her animated film Rocks In My Pockets:
I describe Rocks In My Pockets as “a funny film about depression”. Well, maybe it’s not an outright comedy, but it’s full of irony and uses funny images to talk about serious matters. The thing that interests me as an artist, one of the things, is the interaction of the inwardly personal with the outwardly social. We all have deeply personal experiences that we don’t discuss, but we feel them, and when we externalize them, they become stories, and most likely they become really removed from the original inner experience. I want to bridge the gap between the internal and external, I want to communicate what it really feels like to be alive and go to a dentist, or have sex, or be depressed.
The very idea of making a film on depression happened one November day in 2010 when I was struggling through another bout of obsessive thoughts of self-elimination. I started to write down the different scenarios of how I would not commit suicide (I am very finicky and controlling about those matters). Written down, those thoughts became absurd, funny and harmless. I then asked myself where these thoughts might come from, and the whole story started pouring out of me. When I was a teen, I thought that my feelings were absolutely unique – adults seemed so impervious to suffering, and my peers were either beauty queens or bullies, their hearts cold as stones. I thought that I was the only one in the whole world feeling this pain. Then I started to see mental collapses in my family and it made me think that those collapses might be connected. What did my three cousins and I have in common? We shared the family DNA. Now that I am older I cannot see my bouts of depression as disconnected from my family. Every bit of pain I feel makes me feel the deeper connection to my family’s makeup, its past and perhaps its future. It also makes me feel connected to millions of other people who go through similar experiences. I am not alone with my bouts of depression, which I suffer through twice a year.
Singe Bauman is an independent animator known for her controversial films. The one thing she learned in her five years of Philosophy study at Moscow State University was that knowledge is relative: what you know to be true today can become a lie tomorrow.
Read more about the film here.
In one of the world’s largest cities, New York City, we run into Lucy Winer. The feeling that the world is smaller than it sometimes seems is fantastic. And to meet Lucy again is fantastic, last time we met was at Mad in America Film Festival when her documentary Kings Park: Stories from an American Mental Institution was shown. A film about Lucy’s history, about being at a psychiatric ward under duress. And it’s about the mental hospital’s history, the people who worked there and it is about those who were patients. A film that hurts, that challenges us and makes us wonder. How did this happen? Who were all the people? What can these buildings tell us today? Has anything changed? Now we have the pleasure to announce that Lucy Winer will come to Gothenburg and our Film Festival to show Kings Park.
Read more about the movie here.
We saw the Danish movie Mette’s Voice for the first time at Mad in America film festival in October 2014 in a fully seated cinema at Regent Theatre outside of Boston. We remember the intensified mood, how we all followed Mette, a woman who wanted to tell a story, through Katrine’s camera lens. Katrine’s voice explains the experience of being behind the camera, all the new questions she started asking herself.
There was a definite feeling that it made a big impact in her life. Katrine visited the Family Care Foundation a weekend when all the family home participants in our organization were meeting. We saw the film together and afterwards I heard:
“… could it be this way?”
“…I recognize it from the…”
“…I think of that guy who lived with us for a year.”
“…The movie made me happy… and so upset.”
“…It made me sad but also hopeful.”
“…something must change!”
“…Why aren’t more people aware?”
We’re happy to tell you we are going to show Mette’s Voice at our festival! Read more about the movie here.
Today feels like a big day.
The Teater InterAkt with actress Nina Norén is rehearsing the show ‘Songs from the Silent Voice’.
It is a great honour to invite this important show to our film festival.
It’s real life stories that need to be told, it’s those that will set in motion the big changes!
The show is Nina’s own story, but at the same time it’s also about thousands of other people. It tells the story of when everything breaks, about being described with inhumane words by a healthcare system, about the balance between life and death and about waiting in despair for a contact person to finally appear and then to have only 10 minutes to discuss death and perhaps life. And it’s about what can help.
Incredible to be so touched by a show when it’s only a rehearsal with three people in the audience, I can only imagine how captivating it will be to see the show with you all in October at Stora Teatern!
Read more about the play here.
On the train heading south to Lund in Sweden to the theater group Teater InterAkt where we will be discussing the film festival.
The sea outside the train window looks wild and beautiful. The landscape and the sky is full of grey and brown hues, waiting for green and blue of the spring.
The morning has again been spent going through all of the items in the festivals program. Counting and making the most of the minutes of each as some breaks, of course, need to be included.
How do we decide what to do without so that something else can have its place? A delicate problem. There’s so much knowledge to be shared, so many important and fantastic films and people.
We want the program as a whole to contain stories about society today, the history of psychiatry, firsthand accounts from psychiatric survivors and from practitioners as well as recent research from around the world.
Looking back at the past as well as the present with much hope for change in the future.
Don’t miss these three days, we really hope you’ll come!
You simply must!
The festival will be hosted at Stora Teatern in Gothenburg, which sits like a big cream bun in the centre of the city. We chose Stora Teatern because it lives and breathes culture, history and challenging performance art. The theatre opened in 1859 and was previously Gothenburg’s opera stage. Today, concerts, theatre and lectures are held there and it is funded by the City of Gothenburg’s Cultural Commitee. As well as the fantastic auditorium, we will also meet in the crystal foyer where Gothenburg’s most stunning panoramic windows overlook the Bältesspännar Park. You’ll be able to take a break here, meet new people and talk about impressions from the festival. The social event on the Friday will also be held here.
Photograph: David Castor
The Family Care Foundation has regularly arranged seminars and conferences where we invited speakers from around the world. After our latest conference in April 2013, we thought that something else is needed, something that includes more people than those involved with social work, psychotherapy etc.
We need to discuss how psychiatric diagnoses are simplified frameworks and about the belief that psychotropic drugs can heal when there is both research and actual experience that tell a different story.
A few of us decided to travel to Mad in America’s film festival in Arlington, Boston, USA in October last year. It became quite quickly apparent that this was something we should be doing too, because a film festival is something totally different from just another conference. Film, art, theatre and music are powerful mediums. They can inspire, set emotions free and move us just like life itself. A film festival is also open for anyone to attend; my grandmother, your husband, school teachers, a neighbour’s neighbour, psychiatrists, members of parliament and even the prime minister.
We are proud to present the new website for Driving Us Crazy, the first International Film Festival in Scandinavia aimed at those concerned and interested in new and alternative ways to view that which is defined as mental health. Other than information about the festival and those of us who are arranging the festival, you will also find links to articles and people with great knowledge, both from their own life experiences as ‘patients’ within psychiatry and society’s ‘auxiliary systems’ and from practise and research.