Aero Theatre
1328 Montana Avenue,
Santa Monica, CA 90403 Map
Sat, May 12, 2018

In Person Guests!
"Heaven Is a Traffic Jam on the 405"
Presented by the American Cinematheque and Santa Monica College’s Public Policy Institute

Santa Monica College Public Policy Institute’s 7th annual Spring Symposium, “Healing: Mending Lives and Seeking Healthfulness through Innovative Policies and Approaches,” takes place May 7-12 in venues across Santa Monica; for info, visit

This event is free with RSVP to:

“Heaven Is a Traffic Jam on the 405” (USA, 40 min. Dir. Frank Stiefel) This Oscar-winning documentary short is a portrait of a brilliant 56-year-old artist who is represented by one of Los Angeles’ top galleries. Her body of raw, emotional work reveals a lifetime of depression and mental disorder. Mindy Alper has suffered through electroshock 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, re-enactments and the building of an eight-foot papier-mâché bust of her beloved psychiatrist, we learn how she has emerged from a life of darkness and isolation to a life that includes love, trust and support.

Discussion on innovative approaches to dealing with mental health issues follows with producer-director (and SMC alumnus) Frank Stiefel and documentary subject Mindy Alper.
Screening format: DCP
Aero Theatre • Sat, May 12, 2018 • 7:00pm