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CRAZYWISE: Rethinking Madness, Psychosis or Spiritual Awakening

1 in 5 Americans suffer from a psychological crisis in their lives. Are they crazy, or wise? The documentary Crazywise both engages and educates viewers on the subject of mental health. What may seem like a disadvantage in some cultures can appear to be a gift in others, and this is discussed throughout the film. By interviewing mental health patients and studying their potential disabilities, photographer Phil Borges explores the growing mental health crisis in America with the help of director Kevin Tomlinson. They further enlighten their audience by describing the discrepancy in mental health treatment and acceptance between varying cultures.

In the duration of an hour and twenty minutes, the film follows two young Americans suffering from “mental illness”, and share their personal stories. Adam, aged 27, is a significant example of how western medication can cause more harm than good. Crazywise explains how mental hospitals will often prescribe patients with random medications, hoping that one may be the solution to the patient’s “sickness”, but are in fact the cause of more psychological imbalances. This happened to Adam, and by quitting medication to practice meditation, he was able to find a mental balance.

Ekhaya additionally suffers from “mental illness”, and her story is told in this film. The heartbreaking tragedies of child molestation causes her personal resent, resulting in a diagnosed mental condition. But are the visions she sees and voices she hears actually a gift? In other cultures, people like this are known commonly as Shaman, and are widely respected for their universal connection.   

“We want the audience to know that this [mental illness] didn’t just come out of nowhere”, director Kevin Tomlinson said. “These struggles didn’t just happen for no reason…. That’s a direct cause of affect and is part of our story.”

Crazywise connects other cultures to American society by comparing societal conceptions of mental health disorders. Although one of the main points of the film is that western medication is powerful in harming the psyche of many individuals, even to the point of suicidal tendencies, it does acknowledge the good deriving from medication.

“This would not seem like the Great American Success story for most people,” Tomlinson said. 

Crazywise focuses on the aspects of other cultures that American society could possibly learn from. Crazywise explores how an altered mindset could greatly benefit the the lives of many whom suffer from mental illness.

To purchase this educational DVD, click here!

Kevin Tomlinson, director of Crazywise







Green Planet Films is the educational distributor of Crazywise.

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