Hot Docs 2014: Out of Mind, Out of Sight Review

Out of Mind Out of Sight

Out of Mind, Out of Sight

Canadian Spectrum

There’s a lot to like about Canadian documentary Out of Mind, Out of Sight: a film about the inmates and staff of Brockville Mental Health Centre, a forensic-mental hospital in Ontario.

Primarily orbiting a single primary subject – schizophrenic patient Michael Stewart – the film paints a comprehensive picture of institutionalized life. Themes of forgiveness, redemption, grief and love all shine through in a way that will feel familiar to fans of One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest or Girl Interrupted. Filmmaker John Kastner follows Michael on his journey through the system and a love triangle that forms between other inmates of various diagnoses.


Each story arc finds some sort of satisfying conclusion, and the film’s climax sees Michael and the filmmaker taking a brave and emotional risk that certainly pays off.

There are some heavy handed editing choices, though. Still-images are used to exploit emotion that is already genuinely being solicited by the people in the film, so when the screen fades to the picture of a sunset, or freeze-frames on the smiling face of its protagonist, it slightly cheapens what is otherwise an engaging exploration of invisible Canadians and their struggles with mental health and violence. (Peter Counter)


Sunday, April 27th, Isabel Bader Theatre, 6:30pm (RUSH ONLY)


Wednesday, April 30th, Isabel Bader Theatre, 1:30pm

Sunday, May 4th, TIFF Bell Lightbox 2, 1:00pm