BEST CANADIAN DOCUMENTARY, HONORABLE MENTION - Calgary International Film Festival | OFFICIAL SELECTION - Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary FestivalWomen Empowerment • Crisis • Ecological Instability • Fukushima, Japan • China • Cancer • Reflective Film
Date of Completion: 2019 | Run Time: 87 minutes | Languages: English, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, Dene with English subtitles | Captions: No | Director: Shannon Walsh | Producers: Andréa Schmidt & Shannon Walsh
Taking inspiration from the late cultural theorist Lauren Berlant's influential scholarly work Cruel Optimism, Vancouver-based director Shannon Walsh delivers a philosophical portrait of five women's stories of survival and transformation on a global scale. A compelling meditation on resilience in the face of disaster, ILLUSIONS OF CONTROL unfolds in landscapes that are irrevocably shaped by human attempts to dominate them. Five women confront crises that seem unbearable. Silvia searches for her missing daughter in the deserts of northern Mexico. Yang attempts to hold back the expanding desert in China. Kaori mobilizes mothers as citizen-scientists to monitor radiation in Fukushima, Japan. Stacey builds on Indigenous knowledge to confront toxic industrial legacies in Yellowknife. Lauren stands at the crossroads of a terminal cancer diagnosis in Chicago. What opportunities does ecological instability offer for imagining new ways of relating to each other, to the places we inhabit, and to our collective future? In this ambitious and reflective film, each story reveals surprising ways to live on, and re-imagine life in the ruins.