Hot Docs 2016 Review: “God Knows Where I Am” (2016) ★★★★★


The art of filmmaking is when you’re able to tell in your movie an ordinary story in an extraordinary way. It’s when you put everything you have into your story in order for the viewer to grasp it from the beginning and to be drown up until its over. It’s when you know that everything from the start till the end is pure perfection: whether it’s an editing, music, narrated voice, the camera work and even its structure.

Linda M. Bishop one day finds herself in New Hampshire house. For almost two months she eats only apples. She writes a journal where she describes every single day she lived until the last moment, when she no longer capable to write another word – as at that moment she was dead. When the police locates her body in an abandoned house, an officer thought she was homeless. And she was. But only in her mind. But when he started reading her journal he realizes this is not just a story of a homeless woman who happens to die alone…

You won’t know the whole story until you reach the middle of the film when you more or less come to realize the issue Linda M. Bishop had. All what you know is that a woman has been found dead in the house with no sigh of violence, even though her journal suggested that. By the time when you realize that Linda Bishop was a highly intelligent person who happens to suffer from bipolar disorder and being unconditionally discharged by her doctor without informing anyone.

It’s amazing how the camera work, cinematography, as well as Linda M. Bishop’s journal read by Lori Singer transforms you into the film. It leaves an impression of watching a highly suspense, a nail-biting thriller with an unpredictable ending. Even though you know how everything ended for Linda M. Bishop, that still does not let you go, bur rather holds you tight up until the end of the film. It’s the recreation of Linda M. Bishop’s journal through the narrated voice of Lori Singer that will stun you, as it had great synchronization with everything you will be seeing in this film, which sadly, was a true story.

“God Knows Where I am” is a documentary film that must be seen with no excuses. It’s superbly directed. Imaginative. Seemingly, a passionate project for the Wider Brothers, who I wish continue their collaboration the same way. This is a story of a well-educated woman who decides to stay free of the mental health system. It’s a story of a woman who imprisons herself somewhere deep in her mind rejecting any help she could have receive to avoid such a horrible fate.

It’s also about the system that discharges her knowing ahead of time that she is incapable of looking after herself. It’s about the failure of the society that knows nothing about how to treat a mentally ill person. In the meantime, it’s a film that you will never get tired of watching all over again, despite it being just a documentary film, but made endlessly tasteful.


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