This Isn't Wonderland
TitleThis Isn't Wonderland
DirectorHelen Doyle, Nicole Giguere
CountryCanada
Year1981
Duration57mins
Format16mm, Umatic video
DescriptionThis Isn't Wonderland explores the meaning and politics of 'women and madness' from a feminist perspective, threading together elements of narrative, theatre and documentary. Part of the film tells the story of a housewife, Alice, who finds herself so alienated that a suicide attempt results, followed by a suffocating stay in a clinic. This world of severe depression (in which most of those affected are women, mostly married) is symbolised in a chessboard nightmare sequence, a play within the film which shows survivors as women who repress their own needs and desires. Interwoven are documentary accounts of madness from psychiatrists, social workers and sufferers. '... Despite the painful revelations presented to us, we feel that the situation is far from irremediable. On the contrary, we feel that women are developing more and more resources and tools that are enabling them to thwart the rules of the game and checkmate the suffocating societal structures that threaten us all with madness...' (Helen Doyle and Nicole Giguere)