Foray into “The Teen Hospital”
In his new documentary series, Vrai focuses on the atypical daily life of eight teenagers who, despite their young age, give a whole lesson in humility.
Over the course of eight half-hour episodes, which will land on the platform starting Tuesday, the series takes an intimate look at the lives of these teenagers struggling with a medical condition. They are in spite of themselves faced with significant questioning and constant challenges, but above all show resilience and great strength.
The show inevitably echoes the fiction The red bracelets, where friendship and family play an important role in the development of these young people, aged 11 to 15.
A confronting, but not tearful documentary
The documentary series begins when young people are invited to participate in a closed weekend retreat in a camp in Montérégie. In particular, they take advantage of this opportunity to meet and forge links, but also to discuss and share about their condition.
Following severe deafness, Ema, 15, decided to receive a cochlear implant. Frédéric, 14, nearly lost his hand in an accident involving a wood splitter. Mila, 13, suffers from systemic sclerosis with pulmonary hypertension, an orphan disease, while Justin, 14, was paraplegic following a scooter accident.
At age 11, Charles-Édouard has almost received half of his 70 chemotherapy treatments to treat his benign brain tumour. Marceline, 15, is on the waiting list for a kidney transplant due to polycystic kidney disease.
Ann-Lise, 15, suffers from juvenile arthritis and has gone through very difficult times over the past few years. Justine, 11, has had to live with a tracheotomy since birth because she suffers from esophageal atresia in addition to having a laryngeal cleft.
“It's not the easiest project I've had to do,” director Félix St-Jacques admitted in an interview with Agence QMI, recalling the discussions he had with his spouse after his days of filming.
“For the parents and the entourage, it is an impossible gift of self”, he added.
“ It was a documentary that confronted me. I'm not very “human interest”, I'm not the type to fetch tears. But in the end, the young people who took part in the documentary are super “tough” and there was hope through all that which was the fun, the curiosity, the discovery and the love of young people”, then underlined the director.
For him, this project “makes people realize that health is the basis of everything” and helps to put a lot of things into perspective. “It's a somewhat 'feel good' documentary that you can watch as a family with your youngsters,” he added.
- Co-directed by Félix St-Jacques and Félix Trépanier, Teen Hospital, produced by Pixcom in collaboration with Quebecor Content, will land on Vrai on March 14.