An uneasy static envelops the screen. Voices of manic emotion begin to speak in small sentences. Some of them are angry and harsh, some are hurried and panicked, and some are soft and familiar. We are brought into the unsteady world of Liliana with the abrupt chaos that comes with a Borderline personality diagnosis. This is a diagnosis Liliana would not be accurately given until years of failed assessments. The delicate film is shot by Liliana’s loving sister, Olivia.
Voyeuristic home videos of happier times are undercut by a sinister percussion composition mirroring Liliana’s condition. Liliana’s journey starts off as an inspiring story as we watch her take care of her ailing mother, start up a side project producing chocolate, reconnect with an old friend from her stay in a mental hospital, and then start to assemble a fumigation machine for another business venture.
Inter-spliced amongst backdrops of Mexican jungles and an ever present volcano, Lilliana reads passages from her journals detailing her past suicide attempts and subsequent psychiatric admittances.
OVID.tv Film Shows How a Loving Family Supports The Mentally Ill
Throughout her physical and mental ordeals her supportive family is always by her side. They push her to follow through on projects, help her with medication, and eventually buy her a home of her own. This leads to Liliana feeling overwhelmed with emotions of elation and anxiety. Her family forms an unwavering support system, one where someone with these conditions actually has a shot of making it and living a happy life.
Even with the strong family support the threat of tragedy is right around the corner. The family doesn’t hold this as devastating news but more of a fact of life. The anxiety Liliana feels around her failed projects and prescription changes permeate throughout the household.
Away from meaning shines a very loving light on a family dealing with a volatile, tragic, and under-examined condition. It shows a family’s absolute love mixed in with the dull sadness of seemingly intractable mental illness under the ever present Mexican sun. When she hits her bottom, the film portrays the family as making it safe for Liliana to start over. It may end in another suicide attempt, but there is always the hope that life could get better.
This is a good pick film for those of us who have mental illnesses, or care for someone we love with mental illness.
For more information or to watch the film, visit the OVID.tv page for LEJOS DEL SENTIDO (AWAY FROM MEANING)
Initial release: March 11, 2018
Director: Olivia Luengas
Cinematography: Olivia Luengas
Cast: Liliana Luengas Magaña
Music composed by: Chocho Maldito, Yolihuani Curiel
Producers: Olivia Luengas, Odin Acosta
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Images courtesy of OVID.tv
About the Author: Michael Dean Adams
Michael Dean Adams is a freelance writer and poet obsessed with the art scene. Michael spends his free time reading and writing poetry, watching and analyzing Avant-Garde television, or reading Eastern European history.