Northwest Connections | 2017 | 82 minutes

Stranger Says:

This critique of Western medicine hits all the hallmarks: doctors questioning the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, American shamans, the fetishization of native cultures in other hemispheres. Following several people who have experienced trauma and mental illness but found more relief in alternative medicine than in pharmaceuticals, the film sets out to ask whether Western cultures could learn from the way some other societies embrace people with mental illness instead of medicating them. It’s a premise that could work with critical thought applied. Instead, the filmmaker allows his sources to question the existence of mental illness and moralize about the evils of modern medicine with little care for the harm that may be done by discouraging people who could benefit from that modern medicine from seeking help. In short, this film sucks.


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Film Credits
Phil Borges, Kevin Tomlinson
Adam Gentry, Ekhaya Esima, Angeles Arrien, Phil Borges, Carroll Dunham
SIFF 2017