6 years ago

Watch “Heaven Is a Traffic Jam on The 405,” the New Oscar-Winning Portrait of Mindy Alper

A brilliant but tortured 56-year-old artist channels her depression and anxiety into her work.

“Heaven Is a Traffic Jam on The 405,” a 40-minute documentary directed by Frank Stiefel (Music by Paul Maroon). A portrait of a brilliant 56 year old artist (Mindy Alper) , the film won the Oscar for Best Documentary (Short Subject) at the recent Academy Awards. Here’s the gist of what it’s about:

Mindy Alper is a tortured and brilliant 56 year old artist who is represented by one of Los Angeles’ top galleries. Acute anxiety, mental disorder and devastating depression have caused her to be committed to mental institutions undergo electro shock therapy and survive a 10 year period without the ability to speak. Her hyper self awareness has allowed her to produce a lifelong body of work that expresses her emotional state with powerful psychological precision. Through interviews, reenactments, the building of an eight and a half foot papier-mache’ bust of her beloved psychiatrist, and examining drawings made from the time she was a child, we learn how she has emerged from darkness and isolation to a life that includes love, trust and support.

“Heaven Is a Traffic Jam on the 405,” about the LA artist Mindy Alper, was honored with the Academy Award for Best Documentary Short Subject.


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