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Screening  |  BiPolarized, part of the Beyond Boundaries: Dare to be Diverse Film Series

Thursday, October 16, 2014, 6:30–9 pm

Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Auditorium  

Diagnosed with bipolar disorder at age 21 after a manic episode, Ross McKenzie managed his symptoms with lithium. After being on the psychotropic drug for half of his life, Ross sets off on a journey to treat his condition through alternative treatments and delve into the root cause of his mental breakdown. As Ross peels away the layers, his personal experiences tell a larger story about medication. The film, BIPOLARIZED, reveals how society is labeling more and more people with mental illnesses and how, in tandem, doctors are prescribing more and more toxic psychotropic drugs to treat these conditions. Many people put the blame for the spike in diagnoses on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the dictionary of mental disorders, which is currently in its fifth edition (DSM V). Questioning his bipolar label, Ross seeks out activists, psychiatrists and psychiatric survivors who have challenged the status quo in psychiatry, and recounts some of the alternative therapies he explores to maintain his mental, emotional and physical health.



Fall at the Burchfield Penney sees the start of Ideas Prime, a series of screenings, lectures and conversations which create a forum for an exchange of ideas designed to understand how the local and global issues are interrelated. Through a series of screenings, conversations, and programs, the Burchfield Penney hosts diverse ideas focused on a variety of views. Programs are free with galley admission.


  SUNY Buffalo State’s Office of Equity and Campus Diversity, Communication Department, the Office of Student Life and Burchfield Penney Art Center are partnering to create Beyond Boundaries: Dare to be Diverse, a dynamic, year-long program designed to initiate and promote continuing dialogue about issues of diversity on campus. The series is curated by Professors Meg Knowles and Ruth Goldman from the Communication Department and Jason Parker from the Office of Equity and Campus Diversity.  The program, held at Buffalo State over the course of the 2014/2015 school year, will center around a screening series of six films, including panels of  respondents from the community at four screenings, and two special guest speakers, who will also hold workshops outside the screenings. 

The series will feature 3 films each semester: one each month in September, October, November, February, March and April.  Each screening will focus on a different category of diversity, including  race, gender, class, sexual orientation, and abilities, and will be scheduled to match months with a national focus on these groups. 

Each evening will feature and opening talk, the screening of the film, and an audience and speaker Q&A after the film.  Community respondents will include representatives of particular communities addressed in the films, local officials or directors of organizations working with the targeted community. The panelists will also open their discussions to include the audience after the film. 

This program of films will be open to students, faculty and staff at Buffalo State, as well as those interested in the Buffalo community.