Thursday, October 25, 2007

Movies and severe mental illness

The movie “Michael Clayton” (starring George Clooney and Tom Wilkinson) asks questions about state civil commitment laws.

While many Hollywood depictions of severe mental illnesses have been grossly inaccurate, there are some movies that do make serious attempts to portray individuals with illnesses like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. The book Surviving Schizophrenia suggests a few flicks that are worth watching:

Through a Glass Darkly (1961). Directed by Ingmar Bergman. Winner of the 1961 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1961.

Clean, Shaven (1993). Directed by Lodge Kerrigan. Roger Ebert called it a “must see” for anyone with a serious interest in schizophrenia.

Angel Baby (1995). Directed by Michael Rymer. Winner of seven Australian Film Institute awards for 1995.

People Say I’m Crazy (2003). Directed by John Cadigan. Winner of NAMI’s Outstanding Media Award in 2004.