About the documentary : "Retrats" by Pau Itarte and Quim Fuster.

about the documentary

After being in several psychiatric centers as a schizophrenic patient, Lluís Gracia discovered that painting could be a tool to face his illness. From then on, he has cooperated with several associations by developing his painting workshops with other patients and sharing his experience. Retrats (Portraits) monitors the personal and artistic evolution of 9 patients taking part in one of these workshops.

Retrats does not aim to provide a scientific approach about schizophrenia. It gives importance to the people and not to the illness. It is a positive view that shows the illusion of a group of people to recover from their illness.

The documentary shows the story of nine people (the teacher Lluís Gràcia and his pupils Isabel, Pilar, Jordi, Cati, Nacho, Carles, Antonia and Jaime) They all want to recuperate normality after many years of living with the illness.

Retrats avoids the stigmatized view about the illness and the darkness in which schizophrenia and schizophrenics are usually presented. It focuses on the recovering and the difficult process of reconstruction, not on the fall.

The painting workshop is the central core to achieve this recovering. This is painting as a path towards liberty, as a metaphor for personal reconstruction. We want to show how the workshop experience changes these characters by focusing on their evolution, whether it is positive or negative.

We want to give an artistic value to their work to help us understand their motivations and illusions towards life. This is the reason why the documentary will end up with an exhibition of their pictures, so that the general public and their families can participate in this view.

At the same time, we will pay attention to several activities from the characters’ daily routine. All of them are members of AREP (Associació per la Rehabilitació del Malalt Mental), an association for the rehabilitation of mentally handicapped people. This association is directed by psychologist Joan Salló, who is also one of the main characters in the documentary. AREP offers all kinds of activities for patients to foster their reconstruction: talks, lessons on gardening, emotional intelligence and computer science as well as an occupational workshop.