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ANGEL APPLICANT (USA 2023) ***½
Directed by Ken Meyer
In the documentary ANGEL APPLICANT, filmmaker and protagonist Ken Meyer turns the camera on himself, offering viewers a sensitive and beautiful glimpse into the experience of living with a rare autoimmune disease called systemic scleroderma. The film opens with Meyer sharing his diagnosis, which he shares with celebrated Swiss-German artist and Bauhaus teacher Paul Klee. Throughout the film, Meyer draws connections between his own corporeal experiences and Klee's expressive artwork, using his skills as a commercial art director to create stunning images that deepen our understanding of both the art and the illness. The result is an earnest and vulnerable memoir, disease diary, research project, and artist portrait all in one. Despite its focus on illness and suffering, the documentary is full of unexpected magic and uplift, making it a rare feel-good film. Meyer finds comfort in Klee's art, which he sees as a strange language of cryptic code meant just for him, sent by an empathetic messenger showing him a defiant way forward through the pain. Klee's paintings are worth the price of admission alone, and demonstrate that not everything needs to be explained to be understood. Overall, ANGEL APPLICANT is a moving and inspiring testament to the power of art and the human spirit in the face of adversity.
Sunday May 2nd at 5:15 PM - At TIFF Bell Lightbox
Wednesday, May 5 at 2:30 PM – At Scotia Bank
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