The film has screened at the Toronto film festival (TIFF) and Rotterdam film festival.
Bold and unremitting in its depiction of the elderly, The Patron Saints eschews our hyper-individualistic culture obsessed with youth. Taking a head-on approach, husband-and-wife duo Brian M. Cassidy and Melanie Shatzky peer with fly-on-the-wall access into the beige, featureless corridors of a nursing home, presenting an uneasy yet impactful 'portrait of fading bodies and minds.' Forgoing conventional documentary modes for a poetic treatment of the aging, the residents here, shot over the course of five years, are captured with a disconcerting deadpan realism—candid depictions not unlike Larry Clark’s bruising sexually active teenagers in Kids(1995). Jim, the youngest resident, a paralyzed man who has been in and out of institutions his entire life, is our humble, wisecracking narrator and guide. A startling wake-up call that takes up permanent residence in the mind, The Patron Saints unearths a rare beauty in the bleakest of places. — Justin Mah
Doc Alliance is a creative partnership of 7 key European documentary film festivals. Our aim is to advance the documentary genre, support its diversity and promote quality creative documentary films.