I can not and would not dream of attempting to pretend that I know what other people experience, nor would I lay any claims to know some universal “The experience of hearing voices” but this short film does, I think, portray something of what it can be like, some aspect of what some people do struggle with – some thing of what I have struggled with – and does it in a way that might be as close to experiencing for yourself how difficult hearing voices can be as you will want to get.
Watch it a couple of times if you can and you’ll start to get how it can be overwhelming, how being midst such an experience might overwhelm a person, obscure and erase boundaries between what exists inside mind and outside the mind to the point that you may begin to question if indeed there is a boundary at all – besides the one we create in our mind.
It may take you a couple of watchings but you might begin to see through the chaos but you might also begin to get how some of the voices are very difficult, aggressive, dominating and controlling, commanding even. You may even notice how some mirror people you may have encountered, things that may have been said within your earshot. Depending on how such difficult encounters turned out for you in your life, watching may leave you feeling fearful and disempowered, triggering the same powerful and overwhelming emotions you experienced at a time you felt fearful and disempowered.
Then you may notice there are other voices portrayed that are pleasant, supportive, companionate – helpful even, and one in particular who helps us, works with , helps us get a handle on the chaos and helps us navigate a way through the experience and even negotiate the world outside all this experience.
You might even begging to get get how the voices and what they say, and how they behave mirrors the people round you, the situation you’re in and what I can do. You might also get how once you learn to get a handle on it, decode it, understand it its not so scary after all and a rich source of insight. And like any adverse experience, learning to deal with it, come through it, overcome it, can become a source of power.
Its only five minutes of film but its all there. A whole chorus, a team of adversaries competing noisily for attention.
Before you ask, no, this is not a depiction of my own experience – its a show reel for the skills of the cast and writer Eric Gewirtz and writer/director Trevor Sands – but I’d say its as close a portrayal of the kind of experience I can have without you needing to actually stick a camera inside my mind.
Welcome to my world, eh?
INSiDE won “Short of the Week” and Film Of The Year” awards on Vimeo..