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Rendezvous with Madness Film Festival 2016 Review: “Land of Not Knowing” (2016) ★★★★


Depression is a dangerous disease that, we all must agree, a cure for which must be found very soon. However, not many of us, luckily of course, know the true meaning of living in the darkness day and day out and hope one day there will be no need to open one’s eyes at all.  But what is it that makes them go through the nightmare on a daily basis before the one who suffers from deep depression decides to end his life? Steve Sanguedolce’s film gets closer to provide the answer we all needed to hear… but I am afraid in a quite unexpected way…

The film begins with the voice of Mike Hoolboon, then followed by Marina Black, joined by Megan Berg and Emily who kindly share their anxiety, pain, struggle and tiredness towards something we all love endlessly – a joyful life. However, all of them realize that the life itself contains joy, but not enough to make them come out of their dark room, nightmarish dreams and anticipation of death which they literally could not wait for.

Each of them had their own obstacles to overcome. But did they or not, this movie never tells that. What it does is it cleverly captures their inner world through dark images supported by their background voices, where you learn the amount of antidepressants they had to take to keep themselves alive. However, the medication that’s meant to cure them or ease their pain seemed to have contributed more to their already heavy anguish.

As you watch the film you hear the story told by Marina Black, whose terrifying dreams of the images of World War II almost like asked her to join those who lost their lives during the war. Mike shares his story about the medication he took which he realizes it makes him feel even worse. But more importantly, Land of Not Knowing discusses an important issue through the film to ensure that we all understand the degree of disappointment in life with the help of medication can be even stronger and fatal.

In conclusion, Land of Not Knowing is a film you would not expect to touch you so deeply. It’s real, heartbreaking and terrifying. While it talks about depression, this film never attempts to provide an answer, but rather to experience the tragic journey its subject must or might still be going trough. Will we ever be able to understand their pain or try to stop them from throwing themselves in the hole of angriness, emptiness of life where they can feel themselves useless? Of course not. But we certainly can address it, we can stand beside those who feel like nothing matters in this life! But the real truth is, it does and always did. And hopefully, this film can help them to understand that!

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