Watch the Trailer
New England Premiere
2012 | 65 mins | USA | Documentary
Directed by Pearl J. Park
Saturday, October 25, 1:00PM
Bright Family Screening Room, The Paramount Center (559 Washington Street, Boston)
2012 | 65 mins | Documentary
Directed by Pearl J. Park
Contains mature content. Viewers' discretion is advised.
What does it take to heal from mental illness? Can Truong, a war refugee who was among the millions of boat people who fled Vietnam in the 1970's, was a model student, aspiring to become a doctor, when he was diagnosed with depression and bipolar disorder. After years of unsuccessfully trying conventional medical treatments for his mental illnesses, Can becomes involved in the mental health consumer movement, a social and political effort by people labeled with mental illnesses who believe in recovery through self-determination and peer support. Inspired by his peers, he embarks on a healing journey of a different kind — trying to reconcile cultural differences with his very traditional Confucian father and attempts to make sense of his childhood wounds. He serves as a volunteer on numerous mental health organizations that promote recovery and explores spiritual and holistic healing modalities.
Director's Bio: Pearl J. Park
Pearl J. Park has been using her film "Can" to help break the silence about mental illness in Asian American communities, as well as to contribute to the broader public discourse about mental health and cultural competency. Most recently, she produced, directed, and edited "Introspective with Dan Choi" a short documentary film about the gay West Point graduate whose activism helped to repeal the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" U.S. military policy against LGBT soldiers. She also produced, directed and edited "Dream Big" a short documentary about black and Latino students learning Korean language and culture at a Harlem, NY-based charter school, modeled after the Korean education system. As a vocal advocate for people with disabilities, she was been invited to Asian American mental health events at the White House, an annual historical gathering of national leaders in behavioral health, in 2013 and 2014. As an invited speaker, she has presented her work at Yale University, New York University, Columbia University and dozens of national health and educational conferences. She is a member of the Board of Disability Rights New Jersey and a member of the advisory board of the New Jersey Asian American Association for Human Services. As a multimedia professional with more than 20 years of experience in corporate communications, she is particularly passionate about harnessing the power of mass media to affect social and political change. She is a member of New York Women in Film and Television (nywift.org).