Three Movies on Schizophrenia

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Here are short reviews on three movies on schizophrenia that I have seen.

 Oil on Water

 Best movie on the subject, though sad ending. It is moving and accurate. Official movies site is here and you can watch a trailer here.

It is a psychological drama about a young creative couple, Max and Anna, whose idyllic life together begins to spiral out of control when Max starts experiencing strange symptoms that he cannot explain to himself, or share with Anna.  When Anna first meets Max, she is a young journalist and he is an intriguing and slightly eccentric artist.  Deserted by her father as a young child, Anna allows herself to fall in love with Max, and to abandon herself, in trust, to a future with him. Bound to Max by love and art, Anna is at first confused, and then increasingly desperate when Max begins an emotional withdrawal from her and the life they have shared up until this time. When these symptoms begin to manifest in other strange and often bizarre ways and finally in Max’s art it leads to Anna’s utter despair and to her having to confront her fear that their relationship will not survive the change, or that she will be able to reconnect with Max again. Oil on Water is a visually evocative film depicting the raw humanity of two people trying to hold onto a life that’s falling apart.  It digs deep into the complex issues of life and love, art and reality, and manifests what it means to live in ignorance and in denial.  And, ultimately with regret. Shot in the picturesque and exquisite locations of South Africa, Oil on Water is a rich film-making tapestry, layered and textured with beautiful cinematography, strong emotions, and psychological drama.

The movie ends with the following observation. “Over 51 million people in the world suffer from schizophrenia. More than 50 percent will attempt suicide at least once. Between 10 and 15 percent will succeed.”

A Beautiful Mind

A movie based on real events based on Sylvia Nasar’s autobiography of the same name. You can watch a lecture that Sylvia Nasar gave in connection with the movie and the book at here or here. The documentary brilliant madness can be downloaded from here. The interview that John F Nash gave about his life can be downloaded from here. Trailer can be found here.

It is a biographical drama film based on the life of John Nash, a Nobel Laureate in Economics. It is a film about a mathematician, but it is not a film about mathematics. From the heights of notoriety to the depths of depravity, John F Nash experienced it all. A mathematical genius, he made an astonishing discovery early in his career and stood on the brink of international acclaim. In 1947, John Nash arrives at Princeton University. He is co-recipient, with Martin Hansen, of the prestigious Carnegie Scholarship for mathematics. Some years later, Nash is invited to the Pentagon to crack encrypted enemy telecommunication. Nash is able to decipher the code mentally, to the astonishment of other code breakers. He considers his regular duties at MIT uninteresting. Nash becomes increasingly obsessive about searching for hidden patterns in magazines and news and believes he is followed when he delivers his results to a secret mailbox. Meanwhile a student, Alicia Larde asks him to dinner, and the two fall in love. He and Alicia eventually marry. As time goes on, Nash lives more and more within himself which causes major problems in his life. In 1994, Nash is honored by his fellow professors for his achievement in mathematics, and goes on to win the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics for his revolutionary work on game theory. The movie ends as Nash and Alicia leave the auditorium in Stockholm.

Take Shelter

 A bit unrealistic movie on the subject. You can watch the trailer here. The man recognizes very early that he has some mental illness which is bit unrealistic. Second it highlights that the disease is hereditary. This is true but will stigmatize the illness.

In Elyria, Ohio, Curtis LaForche has apocalyptic dreams of being harmed by people close to him, but he keeps them from his wife Samantha and their deaf daughter Hannah. He focuses on building a storm shelter in his backyard, but the strange behavior strains his relationship with his family. Assuming mental illness, he seeks medical help and counseling. However, fearing the worst, he starts building an elaborate and expensive storm shelter in their backyard. This storm shelter threatens to tear apart his family, threatens his sanity and his standing in the community, but he builds it to save his family’s life.

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2 comments on “Three Movies on Schizophrenia”

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