DER Documentary

An Autobiography of Michelle Maren

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by Michel Negroponte and Michelle Maren
color, 81 min, 2015
in English



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When the filmmaker Michel Negroponte (Jupiter's Wife) received an e-mail from a woman who thought she might be a promising subject for a documentary, a process of collaboration began that would result in one of the most revealing self-portraits of living with mental illness ever made.

“Michelle Maren, this movie's titular subject and eventual co-director of the movie, has lived enough lives to fill several movies: she's been a professional actress, go-go dancer, nightclub performer and porn star. But she also suffers from borderline personality disorder, eating disorders, clinical depression, childhood trauma and a daily struggle just to get by. By handing her the camera, Negroponte effectively empowers Maren to tell her own story - or stories - and what emerges is as compelling and unfiltered an immersion into a complicated mind as any you have ever seen.” — Geoff Pevere, Program Director, Rendezvous with Madness Film Festival
“A fascinating, sometimes harrowing journey into an unusual woman's psyche. Once again, Negroponte tests the  limits of where documentary can go, what it can reveal about the inner lives of others - and by extension, of ourselves.” — Filmmaker Ross McElwee, Sherman's March
“Exposure therapy and cinema collide in one of the most intense documentaries you'll ever see.”
— Filmmaker Nina Davenport, Parallel Lines
“An intense, challenging and supremely artful documentary that will haunt you long after the final frame.” — Filmmaker Doug Block, 51 Birch Street


Film Festivals, Screenings, Awards
Rendezvous with Madness, Toronto, Canada, 2015
Doc NYC, NYC, 2015

Related Resources
Filmmaker Site
Michelle Maren Facebook page
Article: "Can Movie-Making Be a Form of the Talking Cure?", Psychology Today

Related Films
When Medicine Got it Wrong
Speaking Tree
Afflictions: Culture and Mental Illness in Indonesia



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