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Inez & Doug & Kira

Julia Kots
United States, 2019, 97 min.

In English.
Includes adult language.

AIFF Award Winner:
Special Jury Award for Best Performance

When Inez (Tawny Cypress) took her own life after a long struggle with bipolar disorder and drug addiction, she left no note--only a pile of old photos strewn about her bed. The two people closest to her--her sister, Kira (Talia Thiesfield), and Kira's fiance?, Doug (Michael Chernus)--are left with too many questions. Doug embarks on a self-destructive quest to decipher the significance of the photographs and understand what finally pushed Inez over the edge. As Doug's investigation grows more obsessive, his relationship with Kira begins to unravel, as does his sanity--until he finds himself face to face with his own demons.

Director's Statement

I wanted to show the collateral damage of mental illness--how Inez's loved ones are also indelibly marked by her struggles, and to explore their conflicting feelings of grief, guilt, and relief. The suicide rate in the US has gone up by 30% in the past two decades, especially in people with mental illnesses like bipolar disorder (what the title character Inez suffers from); so I believe it is imperative that we use every venue of discourse–including film–to bring this uncomfortable subject matter to the forefront of our social consciousness and consider the mental health crisis in this country in its fully complex and nuanced form.

Category: Drama, Festival Alum, Feature, Award Winner, Best of Fest.
Themes: Mental Illness, Family, Relationships, Women.

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