Until today, I was a fan of M. Night Shyamalan's work. In some ways, he's been a cinematic Saki, whose twisty narratives wander into that half-lit place where we wonder if we saw what we really saw. It's the same movie real estate occupied by Sam Raimi, only with very different results.
Then I saw the trailer for "Split." It irritates me that yet another mental illness is used as fodder for entertainment. Dissociative identity disorders (formerly known as "multiple personality disorders") are relatively rare, but they are real and they are nothing like the nonsense M. Night Shyamalan is trying to sell in his latest movie.
In my experience in clinic, I worked with two people with that diagnosis. One case was unmistakable, the other was still being determined and may still be in that shady area between the schizo-active range of disorders and being a true multiple.
The sure case was a child. A child. I can't talk about what this person went through that they needed to create an internal psychiatric hall of mirrors peopled with bits of their own shattered sense of self just to stay alive. And yes, I saw some of those personalities come out. That's all I'm saying, You don't need to know more. It's none of your business.
Nobody's muse needs to stifle compassion in order to create. It's easy, heck, it's just plain lazy to demonize someone based on their suffering for nothing other than dramatic effect. This is the 21st century equivalent of bear baiting only the bears are the mentally ill dressed up in our fears.
This movie could have shed some light on this particular mental health issue and not lost one iota of drama. Compassion should have won out. Instead, we are shown a trailer with yet another boogeyman to feed our fears when we're already way too scared of each other. That's the real shame and that is why I am angered by the fact that this movie exists.
copyright 2016 Jas Faulkner and Zen Dixie