Me And My Teeth


Anna Quon


Anna Quon
  • Release Date 2023
  • Running Time 14 minutes
  • Closed Captions Yes
  • Availability Canada, USA

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Me And My Teeth Me And My Teeth

As a child, filmmaker Anna Quon thought of herself as special, because unlike other kids, she had nearly perfect teeth. But by teenage-hood this illusion began to unravel, and after university, depression landed Anna in the psychiatric hospital. Over time and several hospital admissions. she saw the disappearance of the services and programs that made it, potentially, a place of healing.

It takes an encounter with one unfortunate man to show Anna that there’s something wrong with the way she and our society view human vulnerability and need. She’s convinced of it not long after when, as roommate, companion and cook for her aging father (he’s 90, with few teeth left), she sees that the human she has most depended on needs help himself.

Mental and dental health care have always been the poor cousins in the Canadian health care system. For those on low incomes and those with mental health and/or addiction problems, the systemic neglect and resulting poor mental and dental health become a vicious cycle.

Part personal essay, part poetic plea, Me and My Teeth asks us to consider what allows us to keep smiling when so many others cannot. Using still photos and digitized super-8 footage from Anna’s childhood, along with live action and animation (of digitally hand-drawn characters, photo clips and Victorian-era illustrations), this short documentary visually and thematically alternates whimsical reflection with stark realism, beauty with humour. Anna's conversations with her father Charles Quon and North End Community Health Centre's Dental Clinic Manager, Francine Leach, weave a narrative with her own intimate monologue that points toward the fact that in this life, we all need each other.

Our teeth tell stories — personal, political, and spiritual — that we’ve pushed to the back of our collective mind. Me and My Teeth ends with a poetic meditation on our interdependence — one that argues for the acceptance of our very human imperfection and the need for the society we live in to care for us all.

Director and Producer: Anna Quon

Director's Statement

I want the audience to consider the way they think and feel about people with barriers to dental and mental health, and how their own attitudes, as well as the prevailing systems of the society in which we live, may impact the happiness and well-being of those facing the greatest inequities. I want the audience to understand that they too are vulnerable and that we all need support from one another.

Filmmaker Bio

Anna Quon is a MAD, middle-aged, mixed race woman with middle class padding who has a complex relationship with her own mental— and dental— health. A poet and novelist who makes short animated films of her own poems, Anna is a curious artist, always looking to learn new skills to help her tell the stories and express the ideas that she thinks are important to creating a better world in which humanity can flourish. Half Chinese and half British, Anna is fascinated by what shapes identity and how prejudice, discrimination and the inequities of the systems we’ve created play their role in shaping the lives of individuals from one generation to the next. She lives with her father in his condo in the sky in K’jipuktuk (Halifax).

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