"A ravishing tremolo of sight and sound that masterfully captures the sadness and grandeur of Bonfire Madigan Shive's soul." - Gene Youngblood, Expanded Cinema
“Equal parts feminist polemics, civil disobedience, and raw poetic power…and she plays a mean cello, too.” - Village Voice
(Q&A with the filmmaker after the screening and performance by Bonfire Madigan Shive)
Whisper Rapture is a music and mental health doc-opera about cellist-vocalist Madigan Shive’s journey from traumatized youth to virtuoso musician and pioneering mental health activist. Referred to as the “bastard child of Bjork and Tom Waits” and the “Bruce Springsteen of chamber punk”, Shive’s lifelong experiences with hearing voices and suicidal despair are transposed into avant-garde pop, punk-influenced chamber music, and a progressive healing culture that transcends the restrictive pathologies of mainstream psychiatry. Madigan’s heartfelt story of managing madness and finding wellness through music is heard over silent cello performances inspired by Butoh dance and Balinese shadow puppetry. Luminous images from natural and urban environments set the stage for six, soul-stirring original music compositions. This screening includes a live cello performance by Bonfire Madigan Shive.