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Animating the SpiritedJourneys and Transformations$
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Tze-yue G. Hu, Masao Yokota, and Gyongyi Horvath

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781496826268

Published to University Press of Mississippi: September 2020

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496826268.001.0001

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Transforming the Schizophrenic through Cinematic Therapy

Transforming the Schizophrenic through Cinematic Therapy

(p.43) Transforming the Schizophrenic through Cinematic Therapy
Animating the Spirited

Eileen Anastasia Reynolds

University Press of Mississippi

The author shares her directorial experience in the making of her short film where she invited her aunt to participate in the production process. As her aunt had been diagnosed with schizophrenia in the past and was going through depression when the film was planned, it was supposed that perhaps the film-making process would help improve her mental health with her being part of a creative project. From script-writing, to acting, and even animating, the author had fully engaged her aunt from start to finish. The essay documents the author’s reflections of her aunt’s participation and how her sense of mental wellbeing improved dramatically as the film project progressed. The issue of exploitation is also considered in the essay as there is a difference between engagement and empowerment as opposed to deception and participation. Though the film did not win any awards at the 48-Hour Film Festival; the cinematic therapy experience highlighted the potential of seeking new pathways in supporting mental health patients.

Keywords:   mental illness, schizophrenia, cinematic art therapy, animated documentary, mental health

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