Martin's Hagge an intimate study of depression, and joy

There is a moment in Martin’s Hagge where the main protagonist, Martin, is relieved from his burdens and has the opportunity to enjoy the little things in life. The tone and the mood shifts from this cold, grey and depressing appearance to warmth, yellow and jovial. This transition makes for a direct connection with the viewer as our sympathies lie with Martin, we relate to his feeling of being burdened, share his depression and anxiety and we want that relief. The antagonist, played by Sheila McCarthy, offers a sharp contrast making witty, albeit atrocious comments to demean Martin.

A collaboration with Penny Eizenga and Gordon Pinsent, written by Pinsent and directed by Eizenga, Martin’s Hagge tells a short story of a downtrodden writer with depression and anxiety and his will to overcome his persistent pest. There is no better way to describe this short film as clever and comical. The film sets a tone of comic slapstick, but its theme uncovers universal feelings of self-doubt and self-loathing. Toronto-based filmmaker Penny Eizenga nails this interpretation of mental illness in a person’s daily life.


Eizenga is well known for her work as a producer for several award-winning short films, and web series. A few of her credited works are Go Fish (2016), as producer and a short film Margaret Finds Her Mojo (2014), as writer and actor. Gordon Pinsent is a well-known Canadian icon with his work ranging from television, theatre and film. Pinsent is an iconic figure in Canadian film and theatre, as an actor, playwright, screenwriter, producer, and director.

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Dishan Anderson