Breaking The Walls
Breaking The Walls is a fascinating short documentary by independent filmmaker Jesus Narvaez. Jesus gives us an insight into how he deals with Schizotypical Personality Disorder, something which makes day to day living and social interaction something of a challenge. He tells us how it affects his life, what he has to deal with and how he goes about doing that. As Jesus himself put it, “I wanted the audience to know that mentally ill people do have a voice and dreams.”
Jesus directed, produced and edited this documentary himself along with doing many other jobs behind the scenes. “The technique used in making the short documentary was more a minimalistic style which I had to do for the most part. My idea was taking my therapy and apply it to my filmmaking and bring it exposure.” He was helped by his college instructor Bob Maass and a fellow classmate Andrew Takacs.
The visual work in this film is excellent, with some fantastic still images of Jesus along with some brilliant scenery footage. This really gave the feel of a man struggling with his own thoughts and his trouble with how to express himself. There are some shots of his work, in particular one photograph which is just fantastically interesting and something which I found myself pausing to get a better and longer look at.
One of the great things about this piece of work is the angle and approach Jesus has on his disorder. He has learnt, over time, that it does not have to be a weakness, something which prevents him from doing what he wants to do. Instead he has turned it into a strength. As a result of this disorder Jesus has a somewhat unique way of viewing things. He expresses this through his creativity and through his work, such as this documentary. He sees things in a way that most people do not and that is what makes him a unique filmmaker.
The idea for this documentary came in 2011 when Jesus was taking a Video class in the Metropolitan Community College in Omaha, Nebraska. As part of his course he had to make a documentary and at this time in his life Jesus was going through the recovery process with his illness through therapy. It seemed only fitting that the documentary he was to make would be about this condition that few people know of yet should do.
“Mental illnesses can’t be sugar coated or neglected either, despite what’s happening in today’s society with the acts of violence being displayed in the United States. Mental illness can be treated, but it requires hard work, understanding and patience to achieve this goal.”
This is truly an original piece of work, something I have not come across before. With some unique insights and some quality footage, Jesus was able to get the message across that he so desired. This is what independent films are all about, real people producing real stories for a reason. I cannot recommend this film enough, it is something you have to see as this is a fascinating disorder portrayed in a way which captures your attention and doesn’t let go until the very end.
The film is available to watch below so give it a go and see for yourself. Filmmakers like Jesus need all the support they can get so please click ‘Like’ on this video and visit the website links below for more information on this truly unique filmmaker and the story he has to tell.
Websites Jesus is mention on:
Written by Oliver Willis