“Sometimes magic happens in the most unlikely of places. Arthur claims to be the second son of God. The rest of the world calls him mad. But he knows who he is, and gets on with the work he needs to do. Before he’s finished you will have fallen in love, laughed and cried, hoped and almost believed in him.” (1.)
This afternoon I took time out to watch a New Zealand movie, The Insatiable Moon that played on television for the first time last night. It is based on the book The Insatiable Moon (1997) by Mike Riddell (slightly different spelling to my name so no, we’re not related).
I read this book some years back and really loved it, but I was too scared of earthquakes to sit in a movie cinema for two hours when it played, so was just waiting for the day that a television station would come to the party and play it. I got my wish, and I plugged this a few times on my Facebook page last week, in case kiwi readers wanted to check it out.
Well I’ve seen it now and it has to be a ‘must see’ if demolishing the stigma of mental illness is a project for you. The story is based in Ponsonby, Auckland and so that brought back lots of memories for me of days living and working there. It picks up the issue of de-institutionalisation and the move to community care of psychiatric patients previously living long term in psychiatric hospitals.
Arthur, the main character, believes himself to be the second son of God. Actually I thought he was pretty impressive in his godly role. The boarding house Arthur and his mates live in is threatened with closure and the community are keen to get ‘these types’ moved out of their suburb. The story shows perfectly the issue of stigma, including ignorance and fear. And of overcoming it.
The movie is based on a number of philosophy’s, or which I have included some here:
We, the makers and supporters of The Insatiable Moon, believe these truths to be self-evident:
1. This is a small film that might just change the world.
2. Everything that has life is sacred.
3. Sometimes you have to let go and see where you end up.
4. Everyone is welcome, but watch out for people with shiny shoes.
5. Smart people can be really dumb, and dumb people really smart.
If you like that, check out their website for the other seven items (under Moon Ambassadors).
It’s so great to see firstly, a book focussed on this stigma, and now a mainstream, award-winning movie. Even better is that New Zealand got to see it last night free, and hopefully a message about demolishing stigma got through to many homes. One small step…
Yes, it is a kiwi movie (and book) but it can be accessed if you’re keen. Track it down. You won’t be disappointed. I’m not about to become a movie, or book reviewer, but this was so good I just had to share.
“The movie encompasses a wide emotional range, taking in Ealing-esque comedy, social comment and spiritual speculation, and is funny, heart-warming and tear-jerking by turns… Some have dubbed the film ‘One Flew Over the Kiwi’s Nest’”
– Review from Fortean Times
- Demolishing Stigma (infinitesadnessorhope.wordpress.com)
- Illustrating Stigma (onbeingmindful.wordpress.com)
- The Insatiable Moon Website (theinsatiablemoon.com)