Can, a groundbreaking documentary that intimately portrays the experience of an Asian-American family dealing with mental illness, will screen on Tuesday, April 29, at 7 pm, as part of the New York Women in Film and Television’s Member Screening Series, held at Anthology Film Archives (32 Second Avenue, NYC).
Directed and produced by NYWIFT member Pearl J. Park, Can follows Can Truong, a refugee who was among the millions of boat people who fled Vietnam in 1979, as he searches for healing, dignity and recovery from depression and bipolar disorder. As Truong becomes active in the mental health consumer movement, a national civil rights effort by people with mental illnesses, he embarks on a healing journey marked by determination and self-advocacy.
Shot over three-and-a-half years, the 65-minute film has propelled Park and Truong into the national spotlight on Asian-Americans and mental illness. They are frequent speakers on the topic at health care forums and higher education conferences across the country. Last year, Truong participated in a Community Panel at a White House briefing on Suicide Prevention and Mental Health. During the discussion, Park, who was an invited guest at the briefing, was recognized for her film.
Motivated by the experience of having a family member with mental illness, Park, who is Korean-American, made Can to bring attention to the issues in mental health care for Asian-Americans.
“Through the film, we hope to educate audiences about the experience of mental illness from an Asian-American perspective, and to inspire meaningful dialogue about this taboo topic in Asian-American communities,” Park said. “By dispelling the taboo power of mental illness, we hope to dissipate the denial and shame surrounding the subject.”
The screening of Can will be followed by a Q&A with Park, and then networking at a nearby bar. Tickets can be purchased online (NYWIFT member discount) and at Anthology Film Archives.
(Edited on 3/29/2014 at 8:56pm EST.)
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