Moon Child – A MH documentary

I would like to declare in the first sentence, that this is a sponsored post. However, as stated in the terms of my website disclaimer, I truly believe that this project will benefit the mental health community, and I am therefore happy to have my name attached to it.

I’m delighted to introduce ENDPAIN to my readers, a creative company that perfectly summarise in their own words:

“…Is comprised of individuals from every background united by the common belief that mental, physical and emotional pain are nothing to feel shameful or guilty about. We promote projects that help heal communities through grassroots efforts, advocate for open and honest dialogues about how our experiences shape our lives, and encourage individuals to replace shame-based narratives surrounding pain and trauma with stories of ownership and pride.”

If you’re from a very British, straight-talking reality, then this statement might sound a little arty farty, right? Yet, I found myself being drawn into this world of not trying to heal for healing sake, but just letting people be exactly who they are without shame.

This leads me on to ENDPAIN’s latest short film project, Moon Child which premiered on 10th June.
One of the most gripping and yet shambolic documentaries that I’ve ever seen, but maybe that’s the point? The subject of choice is Vina, and although never confirmed, she displays the classic signs of Bi-polar. Non-medicated and she no longer sees a shrink. The story is told from Vina’s perspective and from that of her daughter and granddaughter, who at this point have, for better or worse, accepted her for who she is, and that is….. well, fucking crazy. In the words of her granddaughter, “she’s a lost soul and that’s sad because we love her. But that’s grandma. Crazy crazy Vina. A beautiful disaster.”

In the space of twenty minutes we learn that this blue haired grandma lives on a boat, was a professional surfer and skater, lost a child to substance abuse, was molested by her step-father and “killed a man.”
**Trigger warning – the conversation about her experiences with molestation (04:30 – 05:24), although less than a minute long, is both shocking and harrowing. It doesn’t get much darker than that.**

As a character she’s impossible, refusing to acknowledge her daughter’s struggles and focusing only on herself, highlighting the selfish nature of mental illness and potentially old age. Her memory is flippant and although her fierce love for her family shines through, it’s often peppered with anger and a refusal to accept any responsibility. This struck a chord with me because we all know ‘that person,’ f**k maybe I am that person to someone. The one you blame for a time in your life when you were unhappy, the one who will never change, or say sorry. So you have two choices, you either accept this, or you don’t. Vina’s family chose acceptance.

Despite her complicated personality and mania, Vina comes out with possibly one of the greatest quotes that I’ve ever heard;
“It’s hard to find the right path to stay on, because you’ve been on so many and they’ve all been let downs, and you wonder, shall I keep trying? But the answer is YES and enjoy every moment that you can.”

This actually made me cry, because unknowingly, she’s speaking to all of us.

If you fancy watching something raw, honest and at times borders on modern philosophy, then Moon Child is definitely something to consider. Click here to view.

The film is both shot and directed by James Mills, Vina’s grandson.   

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4 Comments

  1. Deborah King
    June 14, 2017 / 9:28 pm

    This film is quite amazing, Claire. It was a very emotional experience for me, as I have grappled with the mental illness of my grandmother and mother, with whom I share a lovely legacy of anxiety and depression. I see in Vina the struggle with the past’s demons and the ongoing pain of mental illness. But I also see, shining through it all, the strength and will to survive and find some meaning and joy in life. Thanks for sharing this!

    • allmadhere
      June 14, 2017 / 11:06 pm

      So glad you enjoyed it too Deborah. I think it’s really special xx

    • allmadhere
      June 15, 2017 / 3:56 pm

      So glad you like it Deborah. I think it’s an incredibly important documentary.

  2. June 19, 2017 / 11:48 am

    Brilliant… and excruciating. It illustrates so clearly how we are all the product of our family’s inherited pain and the reactions to it. (It also showed me clearly that I still have an instinctive, visceral shrinking when people suddenly shout or behave angrily.)

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