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30 Days of Existence short film review


Directed by: #ShivamSharma

Written by: #ShivamSharma

Voice-over by: #AmoghShandilya


A dark room with a door left ajar in the distance through which light faintly filters in and reflects on the smooth floor below. The upper portion of the door is made of glass with finer ornate designs, illuminated slightly by the light outside.
A haunting scene from the short film.

Depression is one of the most common mental health issues that a vast number of people has to deal with on a daily basis. Nowadays, we have seen a surge in the amount of people seeking professional help to get it treated. Yet, it is so stigmatised in society that those suffering from it rarely feel safe or comfortable enough to try to talk about it even with their close ones. This short film makes an important statement about the necessity of discussing mental health issues with a wider audience. Despite the short length of the film, the narrative is well-paced and the poetic voice-over delivers a powerful impact.

A heap of unwashed dishes piled up in the kitchen sink signifying long term neglect and the poor mental condition of the inhabitant.
A still capturing a significant and poignant moment.

Coupled with a skilfully edited montage of different shots of various elements of mundane regular life, such as the headphones, the walls, a heap of unwashed dishes piled up in the sink, the refrigerator, a running tap and so on, the music plays in the background providing a perfect foundation for the narration to be launched upon. This makes the otherwise abstract combination of images, sentences and words more nuanced and significantly emphasises on the experience of absolute detachment and withdrawal from the world. Life loses its charm and every thing that once brought them excitement and happiness suddenly becomes dulled. This is what makes it so challenging to fight to stay alive when one has barely any will left to survive.

The problem with mental health issues is that it is quite invisible, your efforts to fight it off remains unacknowledged until you come out and share about it. It is a psychological battle that rages inside your head at all times, consuming each ounce of your energy but it is often likely to go unnoticed by those in your immediate presence. People with depression start doubting their own judgement when plain logic fails to justify or give adequate reasons as to what is alienating them from the rest of the world and instead ingrains in them a sense of guilt and shame for being a ‘burden’ to others. This thought process further pushes them to isolate themselves and it becomes easier to say “No dude, I’m a little busy today.” than trying to explain what’s wrong with them or asking for help.

What this short film does is it carefully attempts to bridge the gap between those who suffer or need help and those who wish they could help them. It is clear that most of us have well-wishers who would not deliberately ignore us knowing what we are going through. They cannot help or support simply because they are kept in the dark. Keeping that perspective in mind, this film tries to enable them to meet one another halfway. Since when depressed, it is harder to reach out, sensitising people and spreading awareness about the nature of mental illnesses is the only way that can encourage us to proactively look out for signs in those who are struggling and give them the safe space that they desperately need. In spite of the budget production and time constraints, this film has done an excellent job in capturing the essence of depression while also remaining subtle and poetic in its deliverance.


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