Breaking the Silence

The director and central subject of “Breaking the Silence,” Dara Sanandaji, takes us on a journey to investigate a condition which psychiatric professionals have termed ‚”psychosis” as well as one of the major diagnoses which may feature these psychotic symptoms, bipolar disorder. Broadly defined in the American Psychiatric Association’s manual, psychosis is a departure from reality, in sensory experience or in belief systems (and oftentimes in both at the same time). The film explores our current knowledge of the condition and how it has been characterized by industry professionals. Narrated entirely throughout by the director himself, “Breaking the Silence” chronicles Dara’s first experience with this phenomenon in 1999 while on a road trip to college for his senior year. The experience is described in explicit detail, along with sketch-animation graphical representations of the events as they transpired. The discussion then shifts to the symptomology of psychosis, the major diagnoses with that particular symptomology, and the criteria for the diagnosis of bipolar disorder and other psychotic conditions. Questions arise as to the link between the symptomology and the larger conditions, and several authoritative professionals in the industry weigh in on this in standard documentary interview fashion. Dara then wraps the film with a real-world, bigger-picture analysis of the human element of this phenomenon in standard voice-over narration from his unique, lived-experience vantage point. The film raises many important questions (often more than direct conclusions) about the topic, and through an objective and impartial approach, the filmmakers present the audience, including industry professionals, ample opportunity for an open and honest discourse about this highly relevant, incredibly timely, and, most importantly, societally impactful topic.

credits: Dara Sanandaji (writer/director/producer), Freddie Bell (co-director/producer)
Year: 2018
Duration: 16:23
Country: United States
Language: English

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