10 essential movies that explore mental health

Mental health issues have been subjected to a lot of bias and misinformation over the centuries but thanks to many modern awareness programs, more and more people are getting a better understanding of how to maintain their mental health in order to navigate the maze of modern times. life.

Art has always been a very effective medium of expression through which artists have conveyed the meaning of living with depression and other mental health issues to a larger audience. Many filmmakers have translated their psychological struggles into the cinematic milieu, in doing so, creating masterpieces.

As part of our own mental health awareness campaign, we’ve curated a list of cinematic gems that explore the topic in unique ways – from personal accounts to social and political analyzes of institutional frameworks. These films are an essential show for those who wish to conduct insightful artistic investigations into the relationship between art and mental health.

Check out the list below.

10 essential movies about mental health:

fire inside (Louis Malle, 1963)

One of the greatest financial works, fire inside It is a wonderful adaptation of the book Pierre Drio La Rochelle A phosphorescent light that hovers or floats at night on the swampy ground. It tells the story of an alcoholic in rehab who ventures out to visit his friends in Paris after making the decision to kill himself.

Organized as a man’s search for meaning in an empty and painful life, fire inside It is a distressing picture of how substance abuse contributes to the ongoing decline of mental health. Frustrated with the bourgeois presence of everyone around him, our hero’s quest for subjectivity does not end well.

winter light (Ingmar Bergman, 1963)

Bergmann winter light It is an indispensable international movie despite other films such as Diary of a country priest And first fix Exhibiting the same themes, Bergman addressed the subject through his unique vision.

The film is about a small-town priest whose duties become somewhat mechanical rather than fueled by spiritual fervor. winter light He shows us how religious crises can destabilize mental health because they signal the breakdown of deeply rooted value systems.

woman under influence (John Cassavetes, 1974)

John Cassavetes’ masterpieces are one of the most influential masterpieces to emerge from the New Hollywood movement. Starring Gina Rowlands who gave the best performance of her career, woman under influence It plays like a very disturbing horror movie.

Rowlands is great as a housewife who exhibits bizarre behavior that’s a symptom of mental health issues but the movie is about more than that. It is a commentary on the institution of marriage and a critique of the “normal life” lenses through which we view life.

Someone flew over the cuckoo’s nest (Milos Fuhrmann, 1975)

Based on Ken Kesey’s eponymous novel, Someone flew over the cuckoo’s nest It is another beloved classic that offers fascinating insights into the institutional madness. Jack Nicholson appears as a criminal who manages to avoid prison work by being transferred to a mental institution.

There, he meets all kinds of eccentric personalities who are more humane than most members of society who have rejected and marginalized these individuals. It ended up winning all five major Academy Awards and was the second film to do so in Academy history.

taxi driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976)

Probably the most famous movie on this list is Martin Scorsese taxi driver It has remained an integral part of popular culture due to its depiction of modernity and urban conditions. Scorsese captures the nightmarish hellscape of New York City, filled with material filth and moral decadence.

Robert De Niro gives a scary performance as Travis Bickle, an insomniac cab driver who floats along city streets at night because he can’t sleep. Scorsese’s vision of the city highlights that mental health problems and violence are logical conclusions to living in urban seclusion.

documented (Agnes Farda, 1981)

The cinema of Agnes Farda often oscillates between fiction, documentary and documented It may just be an excellent example of Varda’s cinematic sensibilities. Intended to be an “emotional movie,” it chronicles the psychological turmoil of a single mother.

Made as a complement to Mor MorseAnd documented It follows the journey of a woman who struggles to find meaning in her life as she slowly adjusts to the unique demands of being a single mother after her partner breaks up with her.

cherry taste (Abbas Kiarostami, 1997)

Abbas Kiarostami’s unparalleled masterpiece follows the strikingly simple quest of a middle-aged man driving on the outskirts of Tehran in order to find someone willing to bury him after he goes through with his decision to kill himself.

In a society where suicide is viewed with contempt, this adventure becomes extremely difficult. Kiarostami builds a beautiful framework in which the man-driven car becomes an important part of the film’s commentary on materialism and existentialism.

Poetry (Lee Chang-dong, 2010)

A modern gem of the new South Korean cinema wave, Poetry He presents the audience with the suffering of a woman in her sixties who has become interested in hair even though she suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, which makes life very difficult.

Although she does her best to find some kind of inner peace, her quest for calm is torn apart by the actions of her grandson whose juvenile delinquency causes pain and suffering. In such stressful times, hair only contributes positively to her mental health.

Oslo, August 31 (Joachim Trier, 2011)

The second addition to Joachim Trier’s popular Oslo trilogy, this 2011 film stars Anders Danielsen Lie as a recovering junkie who ventures out into town after being given a day off to attend a job interview.

Feelings of hopelessness and despair overwhelm him as he sees his friends living a “normal” life as he fails to start over at age 34. A bleak vision of drug addiction and desire for self-destruction, this is perhaps the best part of the series.

Even madness separates us (Wang Bing, 2013)

Wang Bing is one of the greatest documentaries living today and Even madness separates us It is Wang Bing’s basic masterpiece. For this work, Wang decided to focus on a mental institution in southwest China locked on one floor.

Living in terrible isolation and cramped conditions, Wang’s documentary shows how the marginalization of mentally ill individuals is enforced by state agencies. devastating cinematic experience, Until the madness separates us It is a reflection of a harsh socio-political reality that most people are ashamed of.

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