Media & Communication Studies
Film characters with schizophrenia are most often depicted as (1) violent and threatening or (2) extraordinary and talented. As a result of these cinematic representations, audiences have false assumptions about the reality of schizophrenia. Films give the impression that people with schizophrenia should be separated from society in some way by being placed in a mental institution or on a pedestal to show that even a sick brain can be marvelous.
I studied films that portray schizophrenic characters in order to identify a story that is not being told by Hollywood. By looking at the romantic, platonic, and familial relationships in these movies, I was able to write a short film that tells a realistic story of the early stages of schizophrenia. In my screenplay, I supply the “missing” narrative of how society can live together with people who have mental illnesses without separating them.
Thomas, Art, "Schizophrenia in Film: The Missing Narrative" (2019). Media and Communication Studies Summer Fellows. 16.
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