NYWIFT Member Screening Series: CAN
Join us this month for a screening of CAN!
The NYWIFT Member Screening Series provides members with the opportunity to show their work in a theatrical setting. The screenings are held at the Anthology Film Archives, followed by networking at a nearby bar.
CAN was directed by NYWIFT member Pearl Park. A Q&A will immediately follow the screening.
What does it take to heal from mental illness? This documentary follows 33-year old Can Truong, a war refugee who was among the millions of boat people who fled Vietnam in 1979, as he searches for healing, dignity and recovery from bipolar disorder.
Over twelve years, Truong tried more than 20 different medications, was hospitalized seven times and underwent 15 electroconvulsive treatments with little success. Fighting despair and suicidal impulses, he embarks on a different kind of healing journey — trying to reconcile cultural differences with his traditional Confucian father and making sense of his childhood wounds. Despite the stigma surrounding mental illness, Truong becomes active in the national civil rights movement for people with mental illnesses.
Can is one of the first documentary films to highlight mental illness issues from an Asian American perspective, bringing attention to a national disparity. Due to cultural and systemic barriers, Asian Americans utilize mental health services at significantly lower rates than the general US population. Southeast Asian refugees like Truong experience extremely high rates of mental illness (60-80%) due to the traumatic experience of war in their countries of origin. Many Southeast Asians are reluctant to seek psychiatric support for fear of shaming their families.
Typically viewed as the model minority, the overall Asian American population experiences mental illness at the same rates as other populations in the US, but has less access to the quality care than other major minority groups.
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Last updated: Apr. 22, 2014