The ups and downs of mental illness in men captured in film
I haven’t seen the film yet but I’ve contacted the filmmaker to see how I can view it here in the UK. You already know how much this film appeals to me, given my background. But I also want to highlight and raise awareness of mental illness and men.
Moreover, I’d like to encourage conversations with men around how they see mental illness, and look at ways we can all help.
Most of us know how difficult it is to get men to open up or to talk about their mental health. Perhaps it’s a film we can all watch with our hubbies/partners or share it with other men you know? Get the conversation going……………………..
A brief synopsis
HAPPY SAD MAN gives unforgettable voice to the complex emotional landscapes we can all traverse. Touching, funny and tender, this must-see documentary is set to shine a light on and change the dialogue around masculinity and mental health today. Exploring hopes, anxieties, joy and darkness the raw vulnerability of these stories will inspire you to hold some of the men in your life that bit closer.
Over to Jane and her post
I came across this film on Eventbrite. A two part event from Australia.
Genevive is a film maker from Bondi Beach, Australia who has spent years making this documentary. If follows a group of five men – all ages and backgrounds in their journey through the ups and downs of mental ill health and their strength in finding ways to make a difference to others.
I’ve been interested in mental ill health and wellbeing for many years and seen diverse projects/films/discussions trying to capture the stigma and loneliness felt by those living with mental ill health – none touched this film.
The sensitivity, respect and inclusion Genevieve showed, John, Jake, Grant, David, Ivan, Dave and their families/friends conveyed the real range of emotions felt. The passage of time from the 50s/60s to today hasn’t demolished the stigma mental ill health causes. Still a taboo subject.
It’s always struck me – where does this stigma come from? We aren’t born with it. If we’ve learned it, we can surely unlearn it? Why does the mind scare us so much that we feel unable to say ‘hey, how are you feeling? I’m really concerned about you’….. The mind is just part of the body. We wouldn’t fear asking ‘how’s you leg? healed ok?’.
Happy sad man
tells the story of a group of men. An emotional awakening of understanding on how these men feel on their rollacoaster journeys. Little gems are littered throughout the films.
Grant’s synergy of living with mental ill health is like a recipe. You have to balance everything. Using fluorescent colours to start a conversation on Bondi Beach about mental health every Friday morning at 6.30am.
Flouro Friday is now on 200 beaches across 40 countries. Using bright clothes and surfing to spark a conversation. Can we adapt this idea to fit the communities we live in?
David’s wet dog perfume was another highlight. His goal wasn’t to make money but to get people smiling and talking.
Jake’s journey from film maker to war photographer was stark. Even in such dire circumstances he was able to teach children in Syria, Aleppo etc to skateboard and do the things that kids everywhere do. He also taught them how to make films on their mobiles to capture the environment they live in the the futility of war.
The overall message of hope was uplifting.
There is still time today to register on Eventbrite to watch this outstanding documentary and join the live Q&A session tomorrow.
You can follow Genevieve Bailey at:
You can find out more about the film here. And, like I said, I’ve sent messages to Genevieve to find out how I can view the film here in the UK. I’ll let you know how I get on, whether I get to watch the film and what I think of it.
Over to you
Have you any thoughts on this docufilm? Have you seen it? If not, is it something you’d watch — and share? I’m really interested to hear what you think and I look forward to any comments. Tho’ not sure I could answer any questions — until I’ve seen it 😉