Catalogue Number: MPE006
Producer: Motion Pictures Enterprises Inc.
Subject: Arts, Canadian Social Issues, Criminal Justice & Law, Guidance, Health, Social Issues, Social Sciences, Sociology
Grade Level: Post Secondary, Adult
Country Of Origin: Canada
Copyright Year: 2020
Running Time: 7:00
“De-escalate" presents a first-person experience with mental crises and police escalated violence. Writer and spoken word artist Michelle Hillyard shares her personal experience through slam poetry. The first-person perspective humanizes this issue that is often defined by statistics and news reports. It reduces misconceptions about mental illness and inspires viewers to think about their own feelings and thoughts about the subject.
The film’s striking visual style blends animation and a live action slam poetry performance to show the multifaceted flash points between stigma and fear. It illuminates widespread biases and beliefs that lead people to interpret mental and emotional crisis as a criminal or threatening behaviour. The film balances the issue of escalated violence by raising awareness of the challenges faced by police and other first-responders and encouraging viewers to think of alternate services when seeking help.
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