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Accepted Film:

The Healer and the Psychiatrist  
Mike Poltorak (University of Kent)

Film short abstract:

In the South Pacific Island group of Tonga, a traditional healer and a Psychiatrist treat spiritual affliction and mental illness in challenging and inspirational ways.

Film long abstract:

On the South Pacific Island group of Vava’u, the traditional healer Emeline Lolohea treats people affected by spirits. One day away by ferry, the only Tongan Psychiatrist Dr Mapa Puloka has established a public psychiatry well known across the region. Though they have never met in person, this film creates a dialogue between them on the nature of mental illness and spiritual affliction. Their deep commitment, responsibility to their patients and transformative communication offers challenges and opportunities to help address the growing global mental health crisis.Produced and directed by Dr Mike Poltorak, Documentary Film-maker and Senior Lecturer in Social Anthropology at The University of Kent, the 75 minute ethnographic documentary explores the motivations and context for both traditional and psychiatric treatment in the South Pacific Island group of Tonga. It aims to contribute to greater appreciation and collaboration between psychiatric and traditional treatment for Tongans in Tonga, New Zealand, the USA and Australia and contribute to vital conversations and actions in relation to treatment integration to address the growing global mental health crisis. The Healer and the Psychiatrist is the result of twenty years of social anthropological research and collaboration.For more information:

Panel Film02
Films II
  Session 1 Thursday 1 April, 2021, -