Parallel worlds

I am not an expert in mental health, not by a long shot. The greatest specialists in the field spend a lifetime trying to understand and grasp the movements, imbalances, and short-circuits of the chemistry that regulates our brains. Infinitely complex chemistry that has spilled ink onto millions of pages. Infinite complexity that has been the object of a plethora of supervised studies as well as a terrifying volume of barbaric experiments. In addition, it has inspired thousands of artists and filmmakers, each of them eager to share their own account of these parallel worlds in which our brains take refuge for reasons that are sometimes obvious, sometimes obscure. I am not an expert, but I deal with my mental health and the mental health of others every day—and vice versa. Our mental health is already fragile, and made yet more vulnerable by the day.

Here, I present five documentaries that touched me profoundly, each in their own way. Works that allowed me to put myself into the shoes of the Other, to better grasp the harms that gnaw at us, the torments that undermine us, the voices that cause us to panic, the fables that reassure us, the anxieties that paralyze us, and the tenfold emotions that exalt us. And then, all of these states and sensations, these undefinable feelings that define us, that carve out the shape of our daily lives and render our relationships with others--as well as our relationship with ourselves—infinitely more complex.


A special programming by Virginie Dubois

The desire to program this series on mental health came to me about eight months ago while I was working on the marketing campaign of Dehors Serge Dehors, the second feature length from filmmaking team Martin Fournier and Pier-Luc Latulippe. Having just been released in theatres now, this documentary follows in the footsteps of their first work, Manor, that captivated me and made me want to give them the opportunity to develop a next project. This program wouldn’t be complete without the presence of Manor.

Virginie Dubois
Cinephile, first and foremost
Part-time producer

Virginie Dubois has been working in the cultural and film industries for nearly 30 years. An actor by training, she moved onto producing, collaborating on nearly a dozen independent feature films, both documentary and fiction. Since 2018, she splits her time between producing cinematic works and the management of philanthropic events for charitable organizations, in particular Le CAP, that supports, through the discovery and practice of art, people who have been tested by life—not unlike the subjects of the films presented here—and Le Chaînon, that shelters women in difficulty.