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Benjamin’s father passed away. His therapist died suddenly. He and his wife are in the middle of a divorce. Heartbroken and grieving, Benjamin sets out to compose and record a massive concept album with his band The Holy Gasp.

In a dark Toronto music venue, The Holy Gasp plays an encore.

The song, A Daily Affirmation, riles the young crowd into dancing, stomping and shouting out the empowering lyrics: “My whole life is great and I can do anything good!”

Benjamin Hackman, the band’s frontman, wrote this song about a different time in his life; at this point, he sings it by rote.

The truth of Benjamin today is darker. His father passed away recently, his therapist died suddenly and he and his wife are in the middle of a divorce.

With nowhere else to go, Benjamin moves to an artist residency on Toronto Island and sets out to compose and record a new concept album: The Love Songs of Oedipus Rex.

Throughout his process, we encounter the personalities and pressures of recording an album with 26 parts for 18 musicians in 11 days. We delve into the lyrical poetry of the songs themselves, revealing insights and questions about love, family, loss and mental health. The Love Songs of Oedipus Rex is the story of a man in emotional free fall.

 

Credits (Click to expand)

Produced and Directed by
LUKE SARGENT

Featuring
BENJAMIN HACKMAN
SEBASTIAN SHINWELL

MUSICIANS
Karen Ng   
Tom Richards
Joseph Organ  
Natalie Wong
Mathew Somerville Wronski
Nathan Smith
Oso   
Cory Harper-Latkovich
Robert Stevenson  
James McEleney
Nicolas Buligan  
Michael Davidson
Jessica Upton-Crowe  
Sara O. Shahsavari

CONCERT AUDIENCE
Brian Sharwood
Laura Bower
Eric Berall
Ian Marcinkowski
Michael Louis Johnson
Eva Moonsy Palmar
Youval Aberman
Sakina Rizvi
Kristina Klopfer

Cinematography 
LUKE SARGENT

Additional Photography
PEDJA MILOSAVLJEVIC
RAY CRUZZOLA

Editor  
LUKE SARGENT

Assistant Editor 
NIRAJ PATEL

Story Editor 
DYLAN SARGENT

Transcription 
AVITAL CHERNIAWSKY

Post-Production Services provided by Sim Toronto

Arthur Ditner - Colourist and Online Editor
Kali Raigh - Conform Editor
Barry Gilmore - Sound Editor
Matt Chan - Re-Recording Mixer
Jesse Fellows - Assistant Re-Recording Mixer
Erin Lewis - Project Coordinator
Alex Åslund - Operations Manager

Legal Services Provided By Divya Shahani

Insurance Provided by FRONT ROW

Material from the film “The Freshman” generously provided by © 2011 Harold Lloyd Entertainment, Inc.

A Very Special Thank You To:

Peter Gibson
Jane Tattersall
Erika Neu Sargent
Richard Mandin
Kyle Crockard
Jay Prychidny
Alandra Miller
Karen Tsang
ZhiMin Hu
Hayden Stern
Nyla Innukshuk
Laura Pearlmutter
Gordon Burkell
Alex Mogyoros
Dale Morningstar
Craig Saltz
Josh Korody
Andrew Lochhead
Darren Reinhart
Morgan Sea
Hannah Cheeseman
Lynda McKenzie

Thanks to the staff at:

The Smiling Buddha Bar

Artscape Gibraltar Point

Caplansky's Deli

City of Toronto

Without all of your help and support, this film could not have been made.

MUSIC by : THE HOLY GASP

“A Daily Affirmation”
Words and music by Benjamin Hackman (SOCAN)
Mixed, mastered, and engineered by Josh Korody at Candle Studios

“Simple Pleasures”

“I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you”

“The Wedding”

“A Black Elevator”

“A Daily Affirmation #2”

“Beatwave”

“What I Gotta Know”

“The Tallest Grass”

“Since She Broke My Heart”

“The Vow”

“A Boy And His Cookie”

“The Power Of Love”

Words & Music by Benjamin Hackman (SOCAN), Orchestrations by Sebastian Shinwell

Recorded by Dale Morningstar, Mixed by Craig Saltz

The filmmakers would like to acknowledge that the land on which this film was made is the traditional territory of the Haudenosaunee, the Métis, and most recently, the territory of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation

© SARGENT FILMS INC 2018

all rights reserved

Produced in association with 
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Executive in Charge of Production, CBC Docs
Lesley Birchard