Cinema to talk about the self
The Sherbrooke World Cinema Festival (FCMS) is breaking new ground with an Off Festival where cinema and psychology will come together in an original way.
Cach first Saturday of the month from 7 September, the Cine-I propose a meeting described as a cross “between a book club, a film club and conferences on mental health.”
The idea was born following a workshop led by Nathalie Plaat as part of CreativeMornings. The author and psychologist used cinematographic extracts to illustrate her remarks. To talk about a new beginning and a great transition, she had notably scrolled through a sequence of the film Trainspotting.
Malika Bajjaje was in the room. The co-founder and general manager of the Sherbrooke World Cinema Festival found the exercise great and saw its full potential.
The idea of offering an event where the cinema would be used as a lever to tackle different themes related to mental health naturally nestled in his mind. “It’s really one of the Festival’s missions to create opportunities and places to talk to people. This new series of interviews around the seventh art is a way for us to go further in this direction. I know that cinema helps people a lot in what they live because they identify with the characters and their experiences. We all have our fragilities, our sensitive areas. The Cine-Moi will be a place of exchanges where we will be able to talk about different themes in a uninhibited way, “says Ms. Bajjaje.
She led the project together with Nathalie Plaat, who will hold the reins of the monthly meetings in the presence of a specialist (psychoanalyst or psychologist). The guest of the month will choose the film that will be used to dig a topic and feed the conversation. The monthly meeting will function like a book club, as people will be invited to watch the film before the meeting. Copies of the DVD can be borrowed from the FCMS or the Éva-Senécal Library.
Life on the screen
The first psychocinémato meeting will take place on the Italian film I Am Love, by Luca Guadagnino, with the special guest David Pressault, Jungian analyst. The participants will discuss eros, the universal theme of love.
“It’s a buoyant theme that touches the heartbeat, the sexuality and the pain as much as the rifts and energy that sometimes accompany the love,” says Plaat.
Throughout the interview, she insists on the term “mental health”.
“We will not do in the diagnosis. For me, the subject is vast, it does not concern only pathologies. If we talk, for example, about how we can be broken or propelled by a relationship, we are talking about mental health, even if it is a speech we hear less in the public space . In Cine-Moi, I want to avoid the trap that there are strategies or tools that would lead us to go through life without suffering, in a kind of happy denial. It is a bit my workhorse as a psychiatrist, by the way: I constantly meet people who arrive with this injunction of absolute happiness. ”
“We are in a society where we have a lot of medical care for our human states,” she says. When we listen to the radio, for example, it is true that we no longer say that we can be afraid of new situations, we are talking about anxiety. It is also not said that one can be torn by the hardships one is going through, one speaks rather of depressive state or maladaptation. It is as though it is not entirely normal to be at once complex, suffering and sometimes hurt or tortured by what happens to us. Now, to go through human life is sometimes to suffer. If we could say that collectively, maybe we would all be a little better. ”
What will be the cinematic lever in all this?
“Like literature, cinema does us good, but it is also a privileged art by psycho because the language of the psyche is that of images,” says Nathalie Plaat. When we see humans living their lives on screen and going through events that we can identify with, it calms us, it allows us to understand each other, to recognize us. During the Cine-Moi, we will “translate” the psychological issues, by addressing people who think for themselves, who do not necessarily need turnkey advice, but who can make a great profit to find meaning in their experience. “