This film is a documentary about the life of celebrated Canadian artist William Kurelek, dramatically told through his paintings and on-camera revelations. Kurelek describes The Maze as “a painting of the inside of my skull which I painted when I was in England as a patient in Maudsley and Netherne psychiatric hospitals.” He was treated by one of the first art therapists in the UK, Edward Adamson, who appears briefly in the film.
Kurelek’s surrealistic painting, featured in the film, depicts a man’s unraveled head lying in a wheat field. A curled up laboratory rat, representing his spirit, is trapped inside a maze of unhappy thoughts and memories. The film takes an intimate look at the attempted suicide and self-professed “spiritual crisis” of one of the 20th century’s most fascinating artists.
Through beautiful close-up photography of his artwork, we view the depths of his parallel are interviews of him and significant others in his life, his family, mental health workers, and priest. This film addresses behavioral aspects and art imagery characteristic of schizophrenia, while also being aesthetically thrilling.
Total Running Time: 1 hour, 7 minutes, 18 seconds