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Beautiful Dreamers

Beautiful Dreamers

Regular price $9.00 USD
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When the superintendent of the Canadian insane asylum, Dr. Maurice Bucke, meets poet Walt Whitman, his life and that of his wife and patients is radically changed. Like Dr. Bucke, Whitman has avant-garde ideas on the subject of mental illness. “Dreamers” is based on true events. Dr. Bucke became an important biographer of Walt Whitman.

STARS: Colm Feore, Rip Torn, Wendel Meldrum

105min | Drama | 1990 | Color


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Poignant and memorable
This is a movie which I think has been overlooked, by and large. Relatively few people saw it when it came out in the theatres due to the fact that it wasn't well publicized. I read a page-long interview with the director in an alternative, local paper and I distinctly remember the director saying that he felt Whitman's spirit helping him to direct this film, and that it had been a spiritual experience for him (the director). This motivated me to see the film and I saw it more than once before I purchased my own copy so I could see it again and again. I can tell that Whitman did indeed inspire the director because this film has so many poignant scenes like the ones with Whitman's mentally disabled brother, to whom Whitman says, 'you make me rich!' The beauty of this film comes, not from analyzing the accurateness of separate details (which other reviewers inform us are less than accurate), but in allowing the movie as a whole to touch your soul.

Rare look at one man's power to change mental health
The rating is only a 5 because it's a movie that could have used better acting and direction (or at least music!). However, for the achievements of Walt Whitman, it deserves a 10. A previous poster calls the movie cheesy, however, I think it's a simple case of not seeing the forest for the trees. The film makers were apparently more interested in getting the story out there than to have a Hollywood shiny feature film. And for this, I applaud them - the fact it is non-mainstream reflects the life of Whitman as well. This film is more documentary than for the sake of acting. To be fascinated with a story such as this, when you rarely hear of these types of stories that shape current day mental health, is the most important thing. I found it a highly enjoyable look at history.

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