(running time 21 minutes)
St Clements in Paradise received an Award Of Merit from the Best Shorts 2014
What started out as a short film made on a whim, became a twenty minute documentary based around St Clements, an abandoned asylum on Bow Road, East London. The venue is now underway for development as a commercial and residential property, and all that remains is for developers to agree to allowing a space to be set aside for the community.
To this end, the area was promoted by a film festival, Shuffle, curated by Danny Boyle and thoroughly enjoyed by other local residents. This was a successful event and it highlighted the very real need for community space, open to all but especially beneficial to those with mental health problems or economic disadvantage – however as yet there have been no decisions made relating to the space.
The documentary explores various treatments for mental health, with a focus on the over-reliance on medication and the benefits of more holistic therapies. Through a series of interviews, St Clements in Paradise presents the case for the community centre as a place which would enable people to engage in traditional therapies such as art, music and talking, thereby reducing their unwilling reliance on hospitals and yet more medication.
Sir James, Duke of Bow
This documentary has potential to be developed further, either as part of a more ambitious project, or as a more in-depth study of the future of mental health treatment in Britain. If you are familiar with the subject and would like to be involved, please get in touch.
Camera and sound by Lindsey Fairhurst
Edit by Lindsey Fairhurst and Sten Vermeiren
Directed and produced by Fleur Disney