Best and Most Beautiful Things

USA 2015. Dir: Garrett Zevgetis. 91 min. DCP

VANCOUVER PREMIERE | Twenty-year-old Michelle Smith, a recent high school grad living with her mom in rural Maine, wants the same things most young people want: adventure, romance, a job, and independence. But Michelle also has some unique challenges. She’s legally blind, has been diagnosed (possibly incorrectly) on the autism spectrum, and struggles with depression and anxiety. But this precocious and irrepressible young woman is determined to, as she says, “make the world her burrito.” Notwithstanding the appalling 75% unemployment rate amongst the visually impaired, and her family’s understandable concern, Michelle’s journey of self-discovery leads her down some interesting paths — into the kink and BDSM communities, towards a first love, and a solo trip to L.A. to explore a (possibly dodgy) internship as a voice actor. “One of the year’s most touching documentary films ... A powerful, affecting journey into a young woman’s mind as she searches for connection and empowerment” (Xaque Gruber, Huffington Post).

Post-screening discussion with Shawn Marsolais, the founder and Executive Director of Blind Beginnings. Blind since the age of 18, Shawn obtained a Masters degree in Vocational Rehabilitation Counselling in 2012 and has worked as an advocate for the visually impaired and their families for the past 20 years.

Moderated by Dr. Harry Karlinsky, Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia.

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This film will be presented with descriptive audio for persons who are Blind or partially sighted and captions for persons who are Deaf or hard of hearing. Many thanks to VocalEye Descriptive Arts, a non-profit society and the first live descriptive arts service for the blind in Canada, for providing support and equipment. To reserve your receiver and earpiece, contact (604) 688-8202 or info@thecinematheque.ca