A film by Mathieu Arsenault, 2012.
Between the months of September and February I worked in some homes for adults with mental illnesses .
I was granted permission to film them on top of my duties as a human ressource counsellor .
This was not my original intention when taking this job and, as with most of my processes, it eventually happened that I would combine boring necessary duty (employment as survival) with a creative endeavour .
The residents I found to be some of the most delightful and interesting people I had met in a while at times and at other times I was annoyed by them (it is important to state this - there should be no sugar coating because that leads to marginalization) . They were mostly schizophrenic and some were manic depressive . One was obsessive compulsive . All had many documented delusions .
One thing I noticed during my time at these houses is that when we document things we offer these things more power and this greatly affects the individual that is being documented . It also alters the way outsiders look at that documented person because we observe them through constant scrutiny - we observe them period rather than simply interact with them .
This film is perhaps my way of showing a documented person in a different light than most documenters would shine - one of interaction rather than observation . Because of my own issues and delusions this became a film about two people, each with their own obsessive desires and delusions to make and shape things out of daily life .
Sylvia is the one such resident; a real bonnafied obsessive compulsive . We had a nice relationship and I thought it might be interesting as a film because of how gentle and comfortable we are with each other . I thought it important to show that we have a relationship based in mutual respect and that we tease each other a lot and do not interact in a stereotypical way that a caregiver and client would normally do so . We don't coddle each other .
This is one evening I spent with Sylvia . It is a nice representation of my obsession with filming, which caused me to eventually loose my job (because I would film rather than perform my duties), and her obsession and compulsion . Both of our lives were affected and still are affected by our issues .