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CMAJ. 2010 April 20; 182(7): 700.
PMCID: PMC2855925

Film “interventions”

McDonald’s review of Filmmaker-in-Residence1 draws attention to a thought-provoking project by Katerina Cizek. However, he refuses to believe what he sees: that people living in poverty have something to say that is worth listening to. In Hand-held (Young Parents No Fixed Address), he feels the young women featured appear too “smart, articulate and insightful,” and don’t match his idea of the homeless. As someone who has worked with homeless patients throughout my residency at St. Michael’s Hospital, I did not find the film to be misleading at all. Rather, it accurately captures the voices of a population usually silenced. I recently invited Cizek to present her films to undergraduates in a course that I teach. She rightfully labels her films as “interventions.” They are about change. While McDonald may find it difficult to change his beliefs about certain people, Cizek challenges us to listen to, rather than speak for, marginalized populations.


For the full letter, go to:


1. McDonald D. Films for health. CMAJ. 2010;182:177–8.

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