The Naked Room
Looks at childhood mental illness never get rawer than this chilling and thoughtfully stripped down look at young adults in the intake room of a Mexican hospital.
Listening in to the preliminary interviews with children and parents coming to the hospital for a wide range of issues from eating disorders and suicide attempts to sexuality and aggression, brings an uncomfortable sense of closeness to the issues at hand, but that’s the point of Nuria Ibanez’s work here. These kids (predominantly young women, but also several memorable males) are for the most part terrified into believing that they have somehow done something terribly wrong, when most of the time it’s easy to see that the stresses driving them to madness usually isn’t because of anything they did directly.
Quite often, Ibanez doesn’t force the viewer to look between the lines or take it on the word of the kids alone. In many moments, parents and authority figures can be heard describing the “problems” and punishments of the kids being seen, making it patently known that something had to drive many of these youngsters to this point in the first place. It’s a raw and unflinching call for understanding and compassion told with an unwavering eye towards its subject, that’s not devoid of sympathy, but presents them as simply as they need to be seen. (Andrew Parker)
As part of On Our Minds, a symposium on Youth Mental Health (alongside the previously banned by the CBC 1967 documenatry Warrendale), running from 10am to 3pm at the Workman Arts Theatre (651 Dufferin Street). The film itself screens at 1:15pm in the schedule.