Mad Dance: A Mental Health Film Trilogy

Sale Format(s): DVD

Mad Dance is a collection of provocative and beautiful short films that re-envision the way we think, speak and feel about mental distress and wellness in today's chaotic world. These transformative films offer new maps for navigating madness with insight, healing and hope. The trilogy includes the following films:

Crooked Beauty (30") is an internationally acclaimed poetic documentary that chronicles artist-activist Jacks McNamara's transformative journey from psych ward inpatient to pioneering mental health advocacy. It is an intimate portrait of an intense personal quest to live with courage and dignity, and a powerful critique of standard psychiatric treatments. Poignant testimonials connect the fissures and fault lines of human nature to the unstable topography and mercurial weather patterns of the San Francisco Bay Area. Subtitled in English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, and Hebrew.

In Light, In! (12") is a haunting, visual essay about the awkward and angry junctures where our culture struggles to manage its emotional distress. Images recycled from 1950's-era educational films are set to original compositions by world-renowned cellist, Zoe Keating.

For Shadows (20") is a contemplative, multi-layered memoir that explores the process of coming to terms with one's shadow while unraveling the tangled roots of self-harm. The home movies of a child's formative years and an interior landscape of traumatic domestic memories are excavated and re-constructed alongside sound clips from archival mental hygiene films. Original music by cellist Zoe Keating and Terry Riley & the Grand Valley State New Music Ensemble.

Crooked Beauty Endorsements

"A magisterial piece of art cinema on every level."
Gene Youngblood, Media Theorist and Author, Expanded Cinema

"That rare breed of film that is both a socially relevant documentary while at the same time a work of artistic beauty. The combination is breathtaking and inspiring. A great tool for both documentary classes as well as experimental film classes."
Jay Rosenblatt, Filmmaker, Human Remains and King of the Jews

"A great example of how the art documentary can speak to real issues in a timely way."
Bill Nichols, Author, Representing Reality, and Introduction to Documentary

"A mesmerizing jewel. Exquisite camerawork, editing and sound make for an enthralling, sophisticated, and deeply moving film that treats madness as a serious social issue."
Sam Green, Filmmaker, The Weather Underground

"A deeply provocative work of art. Visually stunning, emotionally nuanced and socially enlightening."
Georgia Krantz, Education Manager, Sackler Center for Arts Education at the Guggenheim Museum

Awards: Grand Prize Best Documentary Short, US Super 8 Film & Digital Video Festival; First Place International Documentary Short, FICSAM Mental Health International Film Festival; Best of Fest, Human Dignity Film Festival; Silver Chris Award, Columbus International Film+Video Festival; Best Documentary Short, Mendocino Film Festival; Best First Person Narrative, Scottish Mental Health Arts & Film Festival; Best Documentary Short, Picture This International Disability Film Festival; Second Prize Documentary Short, Athens International Film & Video Festival; Award of Merit, Superfest International Disability Film Festival; Best Short Spirit Award, Artivist Film Festival; First Prize, Art With Impact Mental Health Film Competition

Screening history and press at:

Individual Rate DVD: For home and private use only. No public performance rights.

Institutional Rate DVD: Public performance rights for educational purposes, classrooms, on-campus use, & libraries.

Nonprofit Rate DVD: $40; email for details.

Sale Prices

  Individual Institution
DVD $20.00 $150.00

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