Dedicated to mental health awareness.
sadder and happier
it is like having a nail
in my brain
that I cannot take it out
having mental disorders
is not painful,
more painful is the label
that people put on us
“That’s Life” is a 8 min long dance movie directed, choreographed, videographed and written by Sara Pizzi and performed by Aika Takeshima. In the duration of the movie, we see the dancer going through different emotions, we feel the duration of time, we meet scenes full of dance movements and symbolism. This dance movie has been created in honor of spreading awareness about mental health and mental disorders. This dance is a social action to normalize mental health care and awaken the spirit of the audience in a theme sometimes forgotten by society. The script is based on interviews, materials, images, art projects and diaries collected personally by the creator during her incubation time of research inside mental health care institutions. This to meet the director’s artistic mission of normalizing art and empowering minorities with a non-activist documentary of this world to space of reflection.
During the period of incubation caused by the covid-19 pandemic, my(Sara Pizzi) attention fell into deepening my awareness of my mental health.
Mood swings, emotional outbursts, moments of extreme tiredness were following me during the day affecting my normal actions and emotions. More and more as I was digging into these sensations I discovered how much this affects not only my day and thoughts, but also people close to me. How powerful the mind is to be able to determine our day and relationships, becoming part of our life, something that we have to care of, but it is considered normal.
Soon, I reflected on a similar subject which is not considered normal by some people that have crossed my path. Five years ago, I had a chance to work in a mental health care house dealing everyday with people affected by mental disorders, and it was absurd sometimes to hear comments that were undervaluing the importance of mental health or mocking a serious condition of mental disorders that was deeply impacting some individuals I was working with. This was really painful to hear, most of all to acknowledge that was the common sense of some people regarding individuals affected by mental disorders.
Coming back to my primary thought, while I was thinking what could be associated to my interpretation of “mood swings”, I reconnected my memories to some people I worked with affected by Bipolar Mental Disorder, a disease characterized by periods of depression and periods of abnormally elevated mood that last from days to weeks each. Of course, I’m aware that for many reasons these two elements cannot be associated, like the length of these extreme emotional states: mood swings are characterized by quick change of mood, while bipolar disorder defines a mental condition for a long period of time.
But in both cases, we are speaking about a condition that affects our daily actions and thoughts, but this does not change the status of humanity and social cohesion. Starting from it, I recovered my old notes and journal of patients affected by bipolar disease who I worked with. Few sentences I found interesting that were agreeing with my thoughts were:
This was my starting point for my research. I decided to make a dance movie using quick transitions, music and movement to be able to make people feel a different range of emotions in a few minutes to underline the density of each emotion and how they can change drastically during the day. Rawness of the camera work to elevate the private contest of life and daily life. In this, I wanted to honor the words and people that inspired me, including some elements that patients shared with me.
I wanted to create a movie using my dance voice as medium, to empower the equal voices and conditions of all the people who are suffering from mental disorders and to elevate the importance of the care and awareness of mental health.
Director’s thoughts in symbols.
Openness, listening and acceptance of yourself and others are going to make this path easier for everyone.