Mental (Seishin)



International House
3701 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA, 19104
See map: Google Maps

Director Kazuhiro Soda in person!

Presented in Partnership with Film @ International House and the Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia

Mental (Seishin) is a feature-length documentary that observes the complex world of an outpatient mental health clinic in Japan, interwoven with patients, doctors, staff, volunteers, and home-helpers, in cinema-verité style. The film breaks a major taboo against discussing mental illness prevalent in Japanese society, and captures the candid lives of people coping with suicidal tendencies, poverty, a sense of shame, apprehension, and fear of society.
(Japan/US, 2008, 135 min, Japanese with English subtitles)

Kazuhiro Soda's Campaign screens Monday, January 10, 7PM at the International House MORE INFO

Check out his Master Class on the Observational Method of filmmaking, inspired by the direct cinema tradition and Buddhist philosophy on Tuesday, January 11, 5:00PM at Scribe MORE INFO


Kazuhiro Soda was born in Ashikaga, Japan in 1970 and has lived in New York since 1993. His first feature observational documentary Campaign (2007) premiered at Berlin Film Festival (Forum), and was invited to film festivals around the world. Its 52-minute version was broadcast on PBS, winning the Peabody Award in 2009. It was also broadcast in almost 200 countries. His second feature observational documentary, Mental won the best documentary award at Pusan International Film Festival, Dubai International Film Festival in 2008 and Hong Kong International Film Festival 2009. He is currently working on Theater (working title), an observational documentary about an influential playwright/theater director Oriza Hirata and his company Seinendan. His latest documentary, Peace, premiered at DMZ Docs Festival in Korea on September 9, 2010. He is also an author of a book Mental Illness and Mosaic (Chuohoki Publishing).

Producers’ Forums are supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, Philadelphia Cultural Fund, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and the Independence Foundation.