MCI social worker stars in a documentary on music and healing
We first introduced this inspiring and inspired woman to you in February. Claire Duchesneau has been a McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) social worker at the Montreal Chest Institute, for 27 years specializing in HIV/AIDS. Born into a musical family, she started singing at a very young age and never stopped, despite later suffering from significant hearing loss. It is this combination, and her tireless and compassionate work with HIV-positive refugees that has made her the main subject of a documentary on music and healing.
It only takes listening to Duchesneau for a few minutes to figure how dedicated she is to her patients, many of whom come from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burundi and Rwanda, where they have experienced atrocities and lost relatives. Over time, her patients have become a source of inspiration to her. "Many of these patients are very vulnerable,” she says, “but they are also models of resilience for me."
Four years ago, Duchesneau was diagnosed with cancer. She feared that chemotherapy would affect her hearing more, so she recorded an album. "Music has helped me through my cancer,” says Duchesneau. “It is a thread in my life that helps me deal with the sad stories I hear day in and day out." Wishing to offer music as a gift to her patients, she helped a group of African women followed at her clinic to record an album of their own.
After 17 years supporting these patients, listening to their stories and learning about the wars that have marked their lives, Duchesneau feels she and her colleagues are now part of their history. "We lived it through their eyes and hearts," she says. Nevertheless, there are still many things that are beyond her understanding. "Their stories are so far from our reality that sometimes it is impossible to imagine what they are going through or have gone through."
On July 29, the Rialto Theatre will present Duchesneau’s film premiere "In the Key of Claire: A Story of Music and Healing." The film will be followed by a Q & A with the director, Anne Henderson, and film subjects.
This premiere documentary is open to everyone who is interested.
The documentary will be presented in English only.
Where? Rialto Theatre. 5723 Avenue du Parc, Montreal, H2S 4G9
When? Tuesday, July 29, 2014, at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
How? You can purchase your tickets ($10 each) online at: http://bit.ly/InTheKeyOfClaire