Interesting little film . . . and here is the filmmaker's "spiel" about his work:
After ten months in the making, hoovering smoke, breaking mirrors, hundreds of hours of hard thought and hard work; behold! A short documentary entitled ‘Simon Says: Psychosis’. One that I’m truly proud of making and one I urge and wish you have the time to view. I’ve written a small spiel to entice you into watching it below this very paragraph. Be sure to check out the Psychotic guide to viewing the film, “What is that?” you retort? Click here to find out, or here. Or here.
So here is the spiel…
Contrary to certain short sighted slogans, mental health isn’t just about those who have a problem. We all have mental health and thus the potential to develop mental ill health. Therefore it is vital that we take the time to understand, explore and talk about it as much as possible.
How absurd is it, that school teachers can talk about war, death, sex, drugs, violence, crime and other graphic subjects but not mental health? A circumstance of our own anatomy. Purely because at present time, it is not in the curriculum and they risk losing their jobs by straying from it. As a society, we are constantly being bombarded by organisations and campaigns that tell us we have to ‘understand’. But how often and how well do they actually offer anything to actually help people to ‘understand’?
By making this documentary as ‘one creature beyond’ a mere information video (endeavouring to sneer at such). I hope the viewer to feel as entertained as they are moved, as captivated as they are enlightened and as illuminated as they are confronted with any morsel of ignorance they may have around Psychosis. Which if you are like me (in terms of limb count etc) might be substantial.
Which, brings me to that word, one that I was given by a model created by those who have never experienced psychosis but are largely responsible for defining it. With that in mind, if you are looking for a more primary source on what ‘psychosis’ is? how it feels? or what it means? then look no further. Personal stories convey a lot more than a medical definition. I challenge anyone to dispute this, even more so after watching the film.
So, if you’ve gotten this far, you not only owe it to your anatomy, you owe it to your species to watch and take a step to ‘understand’. Plus, there lies some cool animations, newsreel footage and funny stuff in wait, for the uninitiated to feast on. In all seriousness though, I promise that this is unlike any ‘mental health video’ that you may have seen before. On top of that, it’s a hot topic right now, so what have you got to lose?
A large exertion has been made to make the film as detailed as possible, such a complex subject demands a certain amount of layering beyond the spoken word; visually, structurally, symbolically and thematically. In an effort for these… efforts to not be banished to subtlety, a ‘psychotic guide’ has been written for the viewer. To be found in the download pack below or by itself here. If your intrigued or bewildered at what is meant by the term ‘Psychotic guide’ there is only one way to find out.
Free download pack follow this link and click “slow download” at the bottom of the page. Pack includes:
To download just a movie file follow this link and click “slow download” at the bottom of page.
- A ready to burn DVD image
- Psychotic guide to viewing the film
- Illustrations from Helen Ahpornsiri
- A ‘shocking’ list of stigmatising mental health headlines (cited and referenced)
- Fragments of the filmmaking process
- Full satirical articles from the spinning newspapers (easier reading than pausing the film)
Please note; the film exists for free as a resource and tool for the purpose of education more than anything else. Nevertheless, let it be stated that it may not be used for any commercial purposes in full or in part.
By Sandra Kiume
Simon Says: Psychosis is a fantastic documentary featuring three people who’ve experienced psychosis, talking about what it’s like, and their recovery journeys assisted by the Early Intervention in Psychosis Service provided by the Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust in the UK.
The film was created by John Richardson, a person with lived experience of psychosis, giving it special insight, empathy, and an insider perspective. For more background about the filmmaker’s process and intent, follow this link.
You can follow the filmmaker on Twitter at @insipidmedia, and also interact with a special account for the film, @sisaysPSYCHOSIS. Please ask questions and share your feedback on this unique and important project.