These Four Walls: A documentary on the Manitoba Developmental Centre

Premiere screening and discussion focus on a disturbing history

March 22, 2024

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Event details

The event is free to attend, and everyone is welcome. Registration is required.
Buhler Hall - Level 1
Language and Accessibility:
This event is primarily in English. ASL Interpretation will be provided. Our building strives to be accessible to all.

Join us for the premiere screening of These Four Walls. An emotional journey into the heart of the disability movement in Manitoba, this documentary explores institutionalization in Manitoba as the Manitoba Developmental Centre (MDC) is slated to close.

Through intimate interviews and compelling storytelling, the film follows the courageous story of David Weremy and his class action lawsuit against the MDC, uncovering shocking allegations of widespread abuse and neglect under government care. It bears witness to the journey of survivors, families and community advocates as they confront the painful scars of abuse concealed within the institution.

This inspiring tale champions hope, resilience, community, and the power of breaking free from confinement, showcasing the boundless possibilities that await beyond these four walls.

A panel discussion will follow the screening, and questions will be invited.


Krista Carr (Moderator), Executive Vice President (CEO) of Inclusion Canada

Krista Carr has worked over 28 years in the non‐profit sector as a champion of inclusion. She is currently the Executive Vice President of Inclusion Canada. Before this, she was the Executive Director of the New Brunswick Association for Community Living. Krista sits on several disability‐related boards and committees, including as chair of the federal government’s Minister’s Disability Advisory Group. Krista is a graduate of the University of New Brunswick where she earned a bachelor’s in business administration (BBA) and several diplomas in Human Resources and Management. In 2023, Krista was awarded the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee medal. She is fluently bilingual and currently resides in New Brunswick with her husband and two daughters. 

Debra Roach, President of the Family Advocacy Network of Manitoba

Debra Roach is the President of the Family Advocacy Network of Manitoba and is on the Board of Directors of Community Living Manitoba, where she chairs the Human Rights Committee. She is a past member of the Board of Directors of Inclusion Winnipeg. Debra works to advance the rights of people with disabilities because of her sister, Chris, who is a survivor of the MDC. The way mainstream society pushes people with disabilities into the margins, where many are harmed, concerns Debra. She has a passion for supporting folks in the disability sector.

Josée Boulanger, Director of The Freedom Tour 

Josée Boulanger is a sibling, advocate, researcher, videographer and instructor. She is the proud co‐creator of The Freedom Tour documentary with People First members from across Canada. Her research interests include multimedia participatory methods, disability justice, storytelling, relationality and communicative accessibility. As part of her doctoral research, she used participatory audio‐visual methods to explore a good life from the perspectives of people labelled as having an intellectual disability. She currently teaches at La Cité College in Ottawa and is co‐directing a participatory study on the employability of autistic adults and adults labelled as having an intellectual disability. In her spare time, she collaborates with local artists to create interactive and inclusive, community‐based art events.

Dr. Madeline Burghartdt, College of Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Manitoba

Dr. Madeline Burghardt has a PhD in Critical Disability Studies from York University and is the author of Broken: Institutions, Families, and the Construction of Intellectual Disability, McGill-Queen’s University Press (2018). Currently a faculty member in the College of Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Manitoba, Burghardt works with people labelled with intellectual disabilities in professional and artistic capacities and is an ally of the institutional survivor community. She is currently embarking on a research project with survivors of the Manitoba Developmental Centre that will connect historical artefacts from the MDC with survivors’ narratives of their institutional experiences. 

Michael Filbert, Survivor of Manitoba Development Centre

Michael Filbert, a survivor of the Manitoba Development Centre, is a fierce advocate for those with intellectual disabilities who cannot speak for themselves. Having spent years in the system, Michael advocates for ensuring his housemates without a voice receive the care they deserve. He speaks up if he thinks that they should have better care and attention, or if they are in danger. Michael is a member of the Family Advocacy Network of Manitoba, Quality of Care Action Group and of People First of Manitoba.

A People First of Canada Production in association with Brannek Films, the documentary was produced and directed by Branden DeFoort. The filmmakers previously invited survivors to private screenings to ensure they are comfortable with how they are portrayed, in order to ensure an ethical process. 

Video: These Four Walls (Trailer)