5 Things to Know About the Inspiring Outsider Art Documentary That Just Won an Oscar

Although Loving Vincent, the world’s first fully painted film, suffered the same lack of in-the-moment recognition that it’s erratic Dutch subject did, art still managed to make a strong showing at the 90th Academy Awards, with Frank Stiefel’s Heaven Is a Traffic Jam on the 405 taking home the Oscar for Best Documentary Short Subject. The 2016 documentary film centers on the outsider artist Mindy Alper’s lifelong struggle with mental illness, and many of Alper’s visionary works can be seen in the film, with their hallucinatory depictions of her internal life superimposed onto portraits of other people. The film intriguing title? Spoiler alert: for the 57-year-old Alper, being stuck in a car on the 405 in Los Angeles is “heaven,” so long as she is not late or “needs a pee.”

Here are five other things you need to know to get up to speed on this award-winning documentary.

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Chris Alexakisart, L.A.