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Trailer For New Film Dealing With The Touchy Subject Of Depression - 'Stranded In Existence'

by Sergio
June 19, 2013 10:31 AM
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When you think about it, one subject that black filmmakers have basically overlooked is the subject of mental illness.

Of course, there are exceptions, such as filmmaker Jono Oliver’s quite moving and powerful recent indie feature, Home (which will be screened at the Black Harvest Film Festival in Chicago this August). But aside from Oliver’s film, black films that deal with mental illness are few far and far between.

There’s no one reason why for this. Perhaps because the subject of mental illness is still a touchy one among black people, or possibly because it’s considered to be “dirty laundry” that shouldn’t be exposed in the public. Who knows?

But there’s a newly completed film that attempts to address the subject, from Southern California-based writer and director Adekola Popoola, titled Stranded in Existence.

The film, which was produced by Nabila Lester, is set on a college campus and deals a young student (played by Dominique Williams) who, among his peers, is perceived as a nerd or an “alienated weirdo.” But Nicholas is, in fact, actually struggling “with the mental illness of depression to the point that he has become extremely alienated and feels trapped in life.  Ending his life, seems to be the only way out, until a simple act of kindness from the young lady he loves, Sade, gives him the hope that he can win her heart; he must be successful if he wants to see a future and not die.  

Popoola says that, with this film, he “felt it was imperative that mental illness or depression gets addressed from a perspective that we aren't always privy to.  I've met people from all walks of life who suffer from depression. Still, they are productive in society and do incredible things.  I wanted to help de-stigmatize depression and certain forms of mental illness."

Here’s the trailer:

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  • Man-Over-Bored | June 21, 2013 12:57 AMReply

    Wow -- what an important film! Where can it be seen, specifically in Los Angeles?

  • D.A. | June 19, 2013 1:41 PMReply

    Wow, I want to see this film, but then again I don't. It is a touchy issue in the black community, but I'll one up you and say that it's a touchy issue in The religious community. One of the things alluded to in the trailer is that the protagonist is not supposed to have these issues because he's blessed by God. Most will think nothing of it because most still associate monetary & material wealth with "Freedom" and happiness. But we all know freedom ain't free and happiness is subjective. So Please keep updating on this project, it really hits close to home for me. Not that that that should be your concern.

  • Hopeful Loner | December 14, 2013 10:51 PM

    My apologies for just responding now. For some reason, I didn't see these comments until today. It looks like there might be a screening in mid February 2014 at USC. Yes, it definitely is a touchy issue in the religious community. That definitely gets addressed in the film; especially, the aspect of taking medication for one's mind, when it's sometimes expressed that one just needs faith and to trust God. I've had several doctors and therapist attest to the importance of this film. I'll definitely keep you updated.

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