Whether you have experienced it or not, Schizophrenia is real and affects one in a hundred people. Kitchen’s upcoming short film ‘Disturbed mind’ was created to convey the emotions and thoughts of a Schizophrenic patient. Kitchen’s fascination for the illness comes from her past experiences of dealing with this ailment. She speaks of helping a schizophrenic male who turned to alcohol and drugs as a coping mechanism, but despite trying to help, the man did not respond. From her experiences, she found that Schizophrenic persons are misunderstood, hence the making of ‘Disturbed Mind’.
The story is of a Paranoid Schizophrenic, Jacob (Jamie Jordan) who is controlled by the voices in his head. He confides in a psychiatrist (Emily Reeves), of whom stays anonymous throughout the film. However the thing with paranoid Schizophrenia is that the illness alone can fool all of your senses and cause misperceptions, seen throughout Kitchen’s film. A common symptom of a Paranoid Schizophrenic is the delusion of being watched. Much a like the famous Nobel Prize winner John Forbes Nash Jr., leading to the making of Ron Howard’s 2001 ‘A Beautiful Mind’ starring Russell Crowe as the schizophrenic Forbes.
The opening to the film is quite intriguing, it starts with loud music, drinking, bright colours- everything you would not expect a film titled ‘Disturbed Mind’ to have. However, Kitchen wanted to portray the message of what the illness does mentally and socially through the idea of colour palettes, and the sound design throughout which goes from loud and essentially messy, to isolated, to show the illness. The use of flashback and woods further portray the sense of being an outcast, and there again is a massive contrast of colours between the autumnal woods, and the dark counselling room. And the fragmented thoughts are shown through the fragmented clips. However as the viewer, there is a lack of character explanation of how the illness affects him, and what persuaded him to seek help after almost 10 years. As the short film progresses, the audience also is unsure of the backstory as to what role the woods play and why they are the only safe-haven to Jacob. However, the woods are automonal with dying trees and falling leaves as part of a gradual repetitive process, so perhaps that is a metaphor towards the patients never-ending reality. SHANE SMITH
This England meets Girl Interrupted, Disturbed Mind is intense, emotional and very engaging. 3*