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Shadows & Illuminations (2010) - Plot Summary Poster

Plot Summary

  • Shadows and Illuminations is part of a series of ethnographic films on severe mental illness in Indonesia, based on material drawn from 12 years of person-centered research by director and anthropologist Robert Lemelson. The film focuses on Nyoman Kereta, a rural Balinese man in his late sixties, who suffers from a psychotic-like illness. The film explores Kereta's personal history of trauma, loss, and environmental illness, all of which may have contributed to his illness experience. It places his experience in the context of local community and cultural beliefs and practices, drawing on family members and local mental health practitioners' observations and perspectives. It concludes with a consideration of how Kereta has adapted to his illness and hallucinations with the love and support of his family. Shadows and Illuminations explores how non-normative mental events and behavior, including auditory and visual hallucinations, can be understood or interpreted in multiple ways outside the confines of western psychiatric diagnostics.

    - Written by Elemental Productions
  • Follows an older Balinese man as he struggles with the intrusion of spirits into his consciousness and explores his experience with healers, the roles of violence and loss, and what role a psychiatric diagnosis of schizophrenia entails.

    - Written by Elemental Productions

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