Seven years in the making, Rebel Angel paints a portrait of the evanescent cultural figure Ross Woodman (1922-2014), Jungian author Marion Woodman, and their extraordinary marriage. Ross played a key role in the 'Regionalist' art scene in London, Ontario in the 1960s which gave us many of Canada's most significant artists from that period. Marion was first introduced to Jung’s thought by Ross before they were married in the late 1950s. He accompanied Marion through her journey as a pioneering Jungian analyst who is credited with bringing the Feminine into depth psychology. A champion of creative imagination, he was also an original interpreter of depth psychology in the context of his profound knowledge of world literature and religions. His generosity as a mentor, and his pure artistry as a lecturer on the poetry of Blake, Shelley and the Romantics made him unforgettable, life changing. Through the prism of Woodman's deeply troubled life, the film maker explores the dynamic among, love, creativity and madness in movies, poetry and art. The film is aimed at youth and adults, and is of particular relevance to the fields of English Literature, Canadian art and cultural studies, psychology and comparative religions.
Writer/Director Chris Lowry was one of many students of Woodman who went on to make a difference in the arts, media and education. They include Dora-winning playwright David Young (Inexpressible Island, Glenn), sports journalists Scott Russell and Stephen Brunt, actress Kate Nelligan (Eye of the Needle, Prince of Tides).
“Having Ross Woodman as my professor was both a blessing and a curse,” narrates Lowry. “My life became a series of experiments. I was a producer, a community organizer, a writer, and a dreamer. Ross provoked me to reform the world, one project at a time.”
“I started working on Rebel Angel in 2016,” says Lowry. “But it really started seventeen years earlier in 1999, when I interviewed Ross about his life and his ideas, an unfinished project. After he died, I saw that footage as if for the first time, and realized it was the spine of a film.”
Featuring original music by multi-instrumentalist David Woodhead, Rebel Angel includes extensive historical footage of both Ross and Marion Woodman.
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT REBEL ANGEL:
"I laughed, I wept. I was overwhelmed. A glorious celebration and a beautiful film in every way."
—Karen Mulhallen, Poet, Editor of Descant magazine,
Professor Emeritus Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson)
"So much love there with zero sentimentality! I can’t remember watching a movie like that before."
—John Hoedl, Jungian Analyst, President of the International Society
for Psychology as the Discipline of Interiority
"Far-reaching... It is a wonderful study of a cultural moment in Canada’s maturing cultural life...
It seemed to say things about you (or me) or anyone who has fallen under
the intense spell of the Romantic vision."
—Johanne Clare, author and Professor, George Brown College
"I am utterly stunned by the brilliance and beauty and depth of Rebel Angel. Truly a masterpiece. "
—David Haenke, Poet and Forest Manager, Ozark Regional Land Trust
"A masterful labour of love."
—Deanne Bogdan, Professor Emerita, Department of Social Justice Education
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto