20 Apr « Die Finsternis» by Matthias Horbelt
The rawness and exhaustion of depression are told in its everydayness, in the day-to-day of a man for whom life is a struggle, in Die Finsternis (The Darkness) by Matthias Horbelt.
Whether we are familiar with depressive disorders or not, this film forces the viewer to empathize and breaks taboos and prejudices related to mental illness. The main character Anton is not an outcast or a madman but a man ravaged by the pain of living and uncertainty. Although his sister lovingly tries to help him, the voices that haunt him leave him no respite. Thanks to stunning cinematography and a powerful performance by the lead actor, we are taken on a deeply personal and emotional journey as we witness Anton’s struggles against the darkness that consumes him. In the background, hinted at but very palpable, the film’s author critiques the outside, society indifferent to the pain of the individual, abandoned to his own malaise in a kind of contemporary social Darwinism.
What makes this film truly special is the way it portrays depression in a realistic and empathetic way, thanks to the direct experiences gathered by the director and co-writer Tilo Propp, on his direct experience and in close contact with people who have experienced depression to ensure that the story was accurate and sensitive. The result is a film that not only sheds light on the challenges faced by those experiencing depression but also offers hope and understanding.
The Darkness not only forces us to look at what in everyday life we do not want to see, it reminds us that we are not alone in our struggles and that there is always hope for those who are willing to seek and give help.