Produced and directed by Dr Mike Poltorak from School of Anthropology and Conservation, this 75 minute film explores the motivations and context for both traditional and psychiatric treatment in the South Pacific Island group of Vava’u. It is free and open to all but registration is requested.
Focusing on traditional healer Emeline Lolohea, who treats people affected by spirits, and Tongan public psychiatrist Dr Mapa Puloka, the documentary aims to contribute to the increasingly important conversation around the growing global mental health crisis.
Funded by the Global Challenges Research Fund, University of Kent and the School of Anthropology and Conservation, The Healer and the Psychiatrist is the result of twenty years of social anthropological research and collaboration.
It has already been screened for the Tongan community in New Zealand and Australia, and will have its UK festival premiere at the London International Documentary Festival as part of its official selection for this year’s programme (30 November – 1 December).
Dr Poltorak, a visual and medical anthropologist with a long-term interest in global mental health, will take part in a Q&A following the screening.