About this project
“ – any optimism I have comes from the marvelous unpredictability of the human mind.”
- Iain McGilchrist, “THE MASTER AND HIS EMISSARY: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World”
“I knew I had to make a film about the ideas in the book ('The Master and his Emissary'). It became a mission.”
- Vanessa Dylyn, Producer, "The Divided Brain"
“The Divided Brain” features Dr. Iain McGilchrist, comedian John Cleese of ‘Monty Python’, neuroanatomist Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor of TED Talks fame, pioneering neuroscientist Dr. Michael Gazzaniga, former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, neuroscientist Jurg Kesselring, Aboriginal elder and scientist Dr. Leroy Little Bear, neuroscientist Onur Gunturkun, and - your brain!
When working in harmony, our brain hemispheres balance one another and help us survive. But, Iain McGilchrist observes that in Western culture, the reductionist left hemisphere is dominating our lives and this dominance is negatively affecting how we deal with global problems such as the environment, the economic crisis, and the rise of mental illnesses.
View the film's trailer to learn more -
“The Divided Brain" is the first documentary film based on Dr. Iain McGilchrist's ground-breaking book, “The Master and his Emissary”. In his book (rooted on 20 years' work and an analysis of over 2,000 scientific studies) McGilchrist asks not, “What does the brain do?” but “What is the brain like?” Forget the pop-science of ‘the left hemisphere is logical and does math’ and ‘the right hemisphere is emotional and creates art’. Scientists have long known that each hemisphere does everything. What McGilchrist shows us is that each hemisphere has a radically different personality or ‘view’ of the world.
"The Divided Brain" follows Iain on his journey to test his ideas. He leaves his home on the Isle of Skye to visit several countries on two continents where he encounters supporters and opponents alike. He finds mounting evidence that our brains’ imbalance is threatening our happiness, our mental health, and even our society. With time running out, McGilchrist seeks a way to help us understand what it is that we are missing and change the direction of our civilization before it’s too late.
Dr. Iain McGilchrist is a psychiatrist, writer, and a former Oxford literary scholar. He has been a neuroimaging researcher at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and a Consultant Psychiatrist at Maudsley Hospital in South London. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and has three times been elected a Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford. He is the author of the ground-breaking book, “The Master and his Emissary”.
A successful producer of award-winning high-concept documentaries, Vanessa’s recent credits include Werner Herzog's "Into the Inferno" (Netflix), the Gemini-winning film The Musical Brain. Featuring Sting, and "Fixing My Brain", the story of Barbara Arrowsmith who re-wired her own brain. After reading "The Master and his Emissary" Vanessa was struck by how relevant it was to our contemporary lives. She was compelled to make a film based on the book so that she could bring the ideas to a wider audience.
Manfred began his film career as an editor and enjoyed a long association with the National Film Board of Canada where he worked on many films, including co-editing “The Journey” with Academy Award winning director Peter Watkins (Berlinade, TIFF 1987). In 2001, after years of helping other people make their films, Manfred decided it was time to create his own. He has directed and written a dozen documentaries for television, which have been screened at festivals around the world, and received numerous nominations and awards, like “Fatherland” (Munich Filmfest 2007), which received the Donald Brittain Gemini for best social-political Documentary.
Stephen’s accomplishments in factual television and science documentaries includes five of the hour-long episodes for season two of History Television’s popular “Museum Secrets” series, “Aftermath: Population Zero” (National Geographic), and he produced two seasons of Discovery Channel’s “Mean Machines” series.
Risks and challenges
The filmmakers have solid track records of successfully completing films for broadcast and theatrical release. "The Divided Brain" already has financial support that allowed the completion of filming and it is assured to reach an audience through the broadcaster, CBC, and a Distributor that has entered into a contract to obtain additional broadcasts and screenings. So it will be seen once it is completed.
As mentioned above, we have most of the funds for the film thanks to our generous benefactors. Because the arduous filming is behind us and we have all the footage 'in the can', Kickstarter contributors are helping us to complete the post-production process, which entails substantially less risk. If we fail to meet our goal, we could experience delays in completing and releasing the film. This would be a disappointment but is not a high risk scenario.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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