Heaven Is A Traffic Jam On The 405

2018 • 40 minutes
1 review
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About this movie

A 2018 Oscar(®) winner for Best Documentary Short, this film is a portrait of Mindy Alper, a brilliant 56-year-old artist represented by one of Los Angeles’ top galleries. Her body of raw, emotional work reveals a lifetime of depression and mental disorder; she has suffered through electro shock therapy, multiple commitments to mental institutions and a 10-year period without speech. Her only consistent means of communicating has been to channel her hyper self-awareness into drawings and sculpture of powerful psychological clarity that eloquently express her emotional state. Through an examination of her work, interviews, reenactments, and the building of an eight and a half foot papier-mâché bust of her beloved psychiatrist, we learn how she has emerged from a life of darkness and isolation to one that includes love, trust, and support. The title of the film begs the question as to why the 405 freeway, the north/south highway that connects Los Angeles to its northern suburbs and statistically the busiest and most universally loathed highway in the world, would be anyone's idea of heaven. It is a quote from Ms. Alper, and expresses the extent to which she sees life differently from most.
1 review
The Legend
August 20, 2019
This was a very tough movie to watch. She's an incredible artist but you can't help feel sorry for her and the failed relationship she had with her family. The way she talks is very odd and isn't really explained in the movie. I found the ending to be very satisfying but the journey was a bitter pill to swallow. Is this Oscar worthy? Maybe during an off year. I'm very surprised this lost to Knife Skills, Heroine, and Traffic Stop.
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