Heaven Is a Traffic Jam On the 405

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Total Count: 6


Audience Score

User Ratings: 43
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Movie Info

This is a portrait of a brilliant 56 year old artist who is represented by one of Los Angeles' top galleries. Her body of raw, emotional work reveals a lifetime of extreme depression and anxiety. Mindy Alper has suffered through electro shock therapy, multiple commitments to mental institutions and a 10-year period without speech. Her only consistent means of communicating has been to channel her hyper self-awareness into drawings and sculpture of powerful psychological clarity. Through an examination of her work, interviews, reenactments, the building of an eight and a half foot papier-mache bust of her beloved psychiatrist, we learn how she has emerged from a life of darkness and isolation to a life that includes love, trust and laughter.

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Critic Reviews for Heaven Is a Traffic Jam On the 405

All Critics (6) | Top Critics (1)

  • Frank Stiefel's fascinating portrait of the artist Mindy Alper has many layers, almost as many as the wire spirals of Alper's whimsical and haunting sculptures.

    Feb 23, 2018 | Rating: A- | Full Review…

    Jude Dry

    Top Critic
  • A marvelously moving portrait of artist Mindy Alper. Her blunt openness about herself... is a challenge to us all to know ourselves as well as she seems to know herself, even when it's incredibly painful and difficult to do so.

    Mar 4, 2018 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
  • [Mindy Alper's] art, including the doodles she drew as a kid, is astonishingly sensitive, and Stiefel uses animation and optical effects to put viewers into Alper's head.

    Feb 23, 2018 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
  • Though it can be difficult to hear Mindy recount some her stories, Heaven is A Traffic Jam on the 405 is playful and beautiful treatise on the power of art as therapy and the uniquely human ability to transform pain into expression.

    Feb 20, 2018 | Full Review…
  • This thoughtful documentary from Frank Stiefel profiles a middle-aged woman named Mindy Alper, who has used her artwork to cope with her mental illness.

    Feb 16, 2018 | Full Review…
  • Mindy Alper is compelling, both for her eccentricities and her genius, as well as tragically for her story of abuse and terrible treatments and continued medical problems.

    Feb 11, 2018 | Full Review…

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