J.S. Kastner Productions
Rage Against the Darkness

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CBC Television presents RAGE AGAINST THE DARKNESS, a tragicomic documentary trilogy shot over three years that follows four families through the crisis of putting an elderly relative into a seniors’ home. From Emmy Award-winning director John Kastner, the powerful five-hour series tackles a subject that haunts so many Canadians – particularly baby boomers – as they face the dilemma of what to do with aging parents. RAGE AGAINST THE DARKNESS airs on CBC Television on Wednesday, September 15 (Bunny and Leona) and Thursday, September 16 (Gert’s Secret) from 8-10 p.m. and on Sunday, September 19 (Living Dangerously) from 7-8 p.m.

RAGE AGAINST THE DARKNESS is both heart-wrenching and hilarious thanks to a cast of captivating seniors, including 102-year-old Gert Stevenson, one of the most delightful characters to light up any screen. It has already won several awards, including Best Canadian Documentary Feature at the Hot Docs Festival, Finalist at the prestigious Prix Italia and a Silver Chris Award.

Kastner’s unprecedented access to media-wary retirement homes, as well as inside the minds of the seniors and families featured in RAGE AGAINST THE DARKNESS, makes this one of the most ambitious television series ever made on the usually hidden world of seniors’ homes. From the first family feud over what to do with Mother through the wrenching transition to a seniors’ home, to filming a year in the life of an institution, Kastner reveals what usually goes on out of sight.

Bunny and Leona (Sept. 15 at 8 p.m.): The story of two close sisters whose lives are torn apart after living together for 30 years when they are forced to move into separate seniors’ homes.

Gert’s Secret (Sept. 16 at 8 p.m.): A 102-year-old star is born. Gert Stevenson is a happy survivor of one of society’s unhappiest institutions: a nursing home. While other residents struggle to survive, Gert has learned the art of living well. What is her secret?

Living Dangerously (Sept. 19 at 7 p.m.): Two seniors battle families who want to put them in institutions. Despite major health problems, they’re willing to risk their lives to live alone at home.

RAGE AGAINST THE DARKNESS will also air on CBC Newsworld. Bunny and Leona airs Friday, Sept. 17 at 10 p.m. ET/PT; Gert’s Secret airs Saturday, Sept. 18 at 10 p.m. ET/PT; and Living Dangerously airs Tuesday, Sept. 21 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

Produced, directed and written by John Kastner. Producers for CBC are Marie Natanson, Hilary Armstrong and Charlotte Odele. Jerry McIntosh is Director of Independent Documentaries.

Digital photography is available at cbc.ca/imagegallery. Episode information, John Kastner’s biography and full production credits can be found at jskastner.com.
For further information, or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Tracey Williams, CBC Joanne Smale & Adrienne Lloyd, Planet3 Communications
416.205.8777 416.922.4459

tracey_williams@cbc.ca adrienne@planet3com.net August 10, 2004