Michel Negroponte, a documentary filmmaker, meets Maggie one day in Central Park. Maggie claims to be married to the god Jupiter and the daughter of actor Robert Ryan. Michel gets to know ... See full summary »

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Maggie Cogan ...
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Katina Pendleton ...
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Michel Negroponte, a documentary filmmaker, meets Maggie one day in Central Park. Maggie claims to be married to the god Jupiter and the daughter of actor Robert Ryan. Michel gets to know Maggie over the next couple of years, and attempts to use her often outlandish stories as clues to reconstruct her past. Written by James Meek <james@oz.net>

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8 September 1995 (USA)  »

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An unusual portrait of schizophrenia
22 August 2008 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This is a very unusual documentary film. A film maker (Michel Negroponte) happens upon a mentally ill homeless lady (Maggie) who lives in New York's Central Park and befriends her--getting her to agree to be filmed over a period lasting several years. It is interesting to see the lady, as she clearly has schizophrenia and it's an interesting portrait of her life. Despite her being homeless and having a very tenuous hold on reality, Michel does not seem to get her assistance or call in competent psychological help. Instead, and this is the part that is pretty weird, he spends years trying to tease out what this woman's prior life had been based on her irrational though occasionally metaphorical speech as well as by making friends with people who know her. In some ways, his invasive following of the woman with a camera seems rather bizarre (perhaps exploitative) and his need to discover the truth about her made me occasionally wonder if BOTH of them were perhaps ill! Still, despite Michel's strange obsession and desire to make sense of Maggie's life, it is interesting and shows you the often marginal existence the severely mentally ill often have.

This is a great film for a psychology or social work class or for anyone who has a family member who is struggling with severe mental illness.


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