What’s new and different about the storyline for Broken Waters?
In films dealing with mental illness, the audience is used to a story that revolves around the patient, and that features mental health professionals that are evil. Broken Waters is different because it is focused on Marguerite, a young woman psychiatrist. It shows us that mental health professionals are human, with troubles just like their patients. It examines their own conflicted opinions about the use of medication in treating psychological disorders. It’s new because it seeks to portray the doctor-patient bond that can be born from psychiatric therapy, as opposed to its lunacy.
Why is the film set in the 1980s?
It serves a dual purpose.
The 1980s setting is crucial to the story because medication as the therapeutic method of choice for mental illness reached its peak during this time period, and it is the overuse of medication that is the catalyst to Marguerite’s professional struggle, one of the central conflicts in the film. “Talk therapy” could not be portrayed as a controversial method of treatment in a film set in the present day because its benefits have now been recognized. Yet the '80s time period provides the opportunity to parallel the current increasing trend in the prescription of anti-depressant drugs in response to society’s desire for quick fixes. The film serves as a currently relevant cautionary tale on the effectiveness and disadvantages of ubiquitous “new generation” drugs.
Secondly, a 1980s setting allows Marguerite’s character to embody the superwoman ideal which dominated the decade; that is, the desire, expectation and assumption that women want do it all: be a perfect housekeeper, wife and mother, juggle a demanding career, and break the glass ceiling. Yet, this pressure on women is alive and well in the present-day, and acceptance of varying definitions of womanhood is a challenge for our society. This pressure plays an important role in building the dramatic tension between Marguerite and her husband.
Why is the film bilingual? Won’t it just add complexity to its production?
It will definitely create a unique opportunity for a creative team of marketers! But in terms of production, on the contrary, it was the bilingual aspect of the film that convinced our key crew members to participate in the project. Broken Waters’ bilingual script is a real and accurate depiction of how French and English are used in the day-to-day lives of Francophones living in a minority environment in Canada. Naturally, the dialogue between the Franco-Ontarian characters is in French, but English is used in their interactions with Anglophone characters. However, the film is not about the fact that the main characters are Franco-Ontarians; this aspect of the characters serves very simply as the cultural backdrop for the storyline, a cultural backdrop that remains rare in Canadian cinema. Rather than portraying a clash between Francophones and Anglophones, the film shows how French and English in Canada are intertwined.
What are the next steps for the project?
Principal photography wrapped in March 2019. Now in post-production.
How can I support this project?
Are you a producer, executive producer or director keen to embark on a novel project and looking for a mentoring opportunity? If so, please visit the Contact page for ways to get in touch with Karolyne and set a time to discuss the film further. Do you know someone who has produced at least one Canadian fictional feature film that was theatrically released in Canada in the last five years? If so, please invite them to visit this website. Are you someone who cares about the issues raised in this film, and have ideas on niche funding sources? Are you a movie buff who would love to encourage independant filmmaking in Ontario? Please get in touch!
How can I get a copy of the trailer?
Please email the Producer. See Contact page.