Sunday, May 04, 2014

Sean Kelly

Hot Docs 2014: Out of Mind, Out of Sight


Winner, Best Canadian Feature Documentary Award

In this follow-up to last year’s NCR: Not Criminally Responsible, director John Kastner returns to the Brockville Mental Health Centre, which is a forensic psychiatric unit, dealing with mentally ill individuals, who committed criminal acts.  Having unpredicted access to the facility, Kastner focuses on a number of patients over an 18 month period, in an effort to destigmatize those formerly known as the criminally insane.  At the centre of the film is a man in his early 30s named Michael Stewart, a schizophrenic admitted for second degree murder, who continues to feel regret for his crime to this day.

Out of Mind, Out of Sight follows up on the previous film’s definition of the term “not criminally responsible.”  While many of the people in the Brockville Mental Health Centre have committed violent crimes, they are deemed not responsible for the act, due to their mental illness.  It can be very easy to judge these individuals as monsters, even if that might not actually be the case.  The primary subject of Michael Stewart comes off as a very sensitive guy, even though he committed a very horrible crime.  If there is any subject in the film destined garner sympathy from the audience, it would be Stewart, since he genuinely feels heavy remorse for his crime and often spends time keeping to himself socially.

The film also makes the interesting note that it is often female patients that are the most violent, despite them being the minority in the facility.  The film profiles two of these female patients, including a woman named Carole, who is often put into five point restraints, to prevent injury to herself or others.  At its core, Out of Mind, Out of Sight should work to alleviate stereotypes against forensic psychiatric patients, despite their terrible crimes.



  • Sun, May 4, 1:00 PM – TIFF Bell Lightbox 2

Sean Kelly

About Sean Kelly -

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described ├╝ber-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).