Canadian premiere of Alien Boy will take place at Rendezvous With Madness Film Festival

RWM 2013

Alien Boy: The Life and Death of James Chasse

James Chasse

James Chasse

Alien Boy will be shown at the Rendezvous With Madness Film Festival in Toronto, Ontario, on Friday, Nov. 15, 6:30 PM, at TIFF Bell Lightbox. The showing will be Alien Boy’s Canadian premiere.

On September 17, 2006, James Chasse was stopped by three law enforcement officers in Portland, Oregon, in broad daylight. A dozen eyewitnesses watched in horror as the officers tackled, beat, kicked, and Tasered James until he lay motionless on the pavement with 16 broken ribs and a punctured lung. He died in the back seat of a Portland Police car two hours later.

James had not committed a crime, so why did the officers attack him? Who was James Chasse? The officers told eyewitnesses that he was a drug dealer, a homeless person, a non-person, a ghost. However that wasn’t true at all. James was a writer, an illustrator, and a musician; he had a home and a family and friends who loved him. He was a small, shy, gentle person who had been living with schizophrenia for most of his life.

Alien Boy: The Life and Death of James Chasse explores his childhood, his involvement in the early Portland punk music scene, the heart-breaking teenage onset of his schizophrenia, and his brave efforts to avoid institutionalization and maintain his independence.

Using interviews, personal writings, archival footage, official documents, and videotaped depositions of the police officers involved, the film examines James Chasse’s life and the police actions and decisions that led to his death. What emerges is an intimate and complex story of one man’s life, the Chasse family’s struggle for justice, and a city grappling with accountability.

Made as a Kickstarter project, Alien Boy took over six years to create with financial and in-kind support from over 1500 people.

Filmmaker Bio: Alien Boy is director Brian Lindstrom’s third feature-length documentary. Kicking (2003) is about drug detoxification and Finding Normal (2006) is about recovery from drug addiction.

Alien Boy: The Life and Death of James Chasse
Friday, November 15
6:30pm @ TIFF Bell Lightbox
Brian Lindstrom, USA, 2013, 90 min, English, Canadian Premiere, Rated 14A

Director Brian Lindstrom will be in attendance.