Jan Haaken is professor emeritus of psychology at Portland State University, a clinical psychologist, and documentary filmmaker.

From refugee camps, shelters, war zones and mental hospitals to drag bars and hip-hop clubs, Jan Haaken’s documentary films focus on people and places on the social margins, drawing out their insights on the world around them. As a psychologist and documentarian, Haaken weaves research and historical analyses into rich and vividly drawn landscapes that represent the perspectives of her subjects. Through the lens of psychology, she takes intimate conversations with people in crisis into wider social vistas, bringing forces on the periphery of the action into focus.

Haaken directed “Our Bodies Our Doctors,” a film that pulls back the curtain on abortion care and won Best Documentary Feature at the 2019 Portland International Film Festival and Best of SIFF at the 2019 Seattle International Film Festival.  Haaken won the SIFF Lena Sharpe Persistence of Vision Award, given to the female director with the most votes by audience members at the Seattle International Film Festival.

NECESSITY: Oil, Water and Climate Resistance, Haaken’s most recent project, is a fiscally sponsored project of Film Independent and is currently in post-production.

NECESSITY traces the fight in Minnesota against the expansion of pipelines carrying toxic tar sands oil through North America. Home to much of the world’s precious freshwater resources, the state is also the site of expanding oil industry infrastructure. The film follows indigenous activists and non-indigenous allies in their resistance to the pipelines traversing native lands and essential waterways.  Necessity was selected as a project of the Doc Society’s Climate Story Lab in New York City, July 2019.

To support the project or for more information, visit: necessitythemovie.com.