Chi

(Canada, 2013, 59 mins, DCP)
Director:
FEATURING Babz Chula
EXEC PROD Tracey Friesen
PROD Yves J. Ma
SCR Anne Wheeler
CAM Anne Wheeler, Luben Izov, Ray Harper
ED Hart Snider, Janice Brown
MUS Stu Goldberg
PROD CO National Film Board of Canada
Classification:
Guests in attendance.

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Anne Wheeler, returns to her roots in documentary with a touching and inspiring film that follows Vancouver actress Babz Chula through the last months of her life. Chula, a fixture on the Vancouver film and theatre scene, is here a lively spitfire, an adventurer, a woman whose life-force—or chi—vibrates with vitality. At 62, she is in the advanced stages of an eight-year battle with breast cancer that has metastasized to her liver and is further complicated by a rare blood cancer. Desperate, she seeks ayurvedic treatment at a small, remote clinic in India.

Wheeler documents the excruciating treatments that Babz undergoes, hoping to put her cancers in remission. After six weeks, Babz looks 20 years younger than when she arrived. She declares with renewed energy, “I feel like I’m healing, I don’t feel sick anymore.” But it is not to last. The prognosis demands that she move towards palliative care, which she chooses to spend at home.

"A hard, often unflinching look at ’the art of dying,’ Chi fully earns the tears you’ll likely be shedding."—Globe & Mail

Preceded By: Softening

DIR Kelly O’Brien / ON, 2013, 39 min.

Kelly O’Brien’s visually arresting, deeply personal documentary is a lyrical-yet-candid account of the challenges she and her family face—and the rewards they find—in raising a disabled child. Beautifully evocative passages are punctuated by moments of heartache. Throughout it all, O’Brien’s mastery of her chosen form stands in stark contrast to the uncertainties she so disarmingly expresses on-screen.

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