Outside In

From The Fanlight Collection

Directed by Katherine Deutch Tatlock

61 minutes / Color
Release: 2011
Copyright: 2009

What happens when you lose your ovaries or your libido, your long-time partner or your home, your identity or your hope for a full, long life? Any one such loss would shake you. What about all of them?

Diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer at age 42, Dr. Katherine "Kasia" Clark was given 1-2 years to live. Ten years later, OUTSIDE IN reveals her fight to reclaim body and soul, following Kasia from hospital bed to exam rooms and doctor consultations, training for triathlons, making art movies with her mother, and suing the doctors who missed her diagnosis. From the unique point of view of a doctor-turned-patient, Kasia seeks answers to profound questions: "How can I save myself?" "Who can I trust?" "Who am I now?" "How do I choose to live?" "When do I prepare to die?"

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Through frank discussions with her medical doctors, psychiatrist, physicist father, artist mother, schizophrenic sister, and good friends, Kasia exposes her fears, longings, and hopes. She challenges her body with risky rock climbs, rigorous swims, vertical ski slopes. She speaks in an articulate, angry, and determined voice. She swims and swims. She finds solace in art and nature, vindication in the law, spiritualism in music, and a sense of control in filmmaking and mastering the violin.

While relying on evidence-based medical treatment and her own experience as a doctor, Kasia steps out of the box to save her life and redefine her identity, professionally and personally, physically and emotionally, and sexually. She leaves her longtime partner and home in the country to rediscover herself with new people and places, experimenting with mind/body therapies and radical nutritional regimens, always pushing herself physically to solve the mystery of, "How can I be sick if I'm getting stronger?"

film still

OUTSIDE IN was filmed over nine years and draws from 170 hours of footage, film clips, home movies, still photos, artwork, and clippings. Enhanced by multi-layered imagery, artistic elements, and a music score as complex as the film's subject, OUTSIDE IN reflects the nature and rhythms of a fascinating individual from the "outside in." Viewers are left with fresh thoughts and feelings about healing, identity, and their own way of life, guided by the wisdom of Henry David Thoreau, "You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment."

"A remarkable film... People need to hear [this] story, not only as a personal journey, but also as a cautionary tale." —Andrew Solomon, Author, "The Stone Boat"

"A remarkable accomplishment! Kasia is a surrogate for millions of people who have shown heroic resolve and resilience in the face of terrifying experiences and uncertainty." —Deborah L. Levy, PHD, Director Psychology Research Laboratory, McLean Hospital

"As a physician, OUTSIDE IN gave me the perspective of a patient struggling with a life threatening disease. As a fellow physician, it made me think about what it's like to switch places, being on the receiving end of treatment. As a psychiatrist, it inspired me to ponder upon the various meanings of 'treatment refusal.' As a woman, I found myself thinking about issues of body image, fertility, femininity and societal norms. As a human being, I was simply touched. What an important and inspiring piece of work!" —Orit Avni-Barron, MD, Director of Mental Health at The Fish Center for Women's Health, Brigham and Women's Hospital

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A Film by Katherine Deutch Tatlock
Executive Produced by Katherine Whipple Clark, M.D.

Select Accolades

  • Official Selection, 2012 Western Psychological Association Film Festival
  • 2011 Hippocrates International Health Film Festival, Greece
  • 2010 Winner of 7 Telly Awards
  • 2009 Commonwealth School Film Festival


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