“How do you help someone who is suicidal to have the will to live?”
“You start by changing the stigma of depression!”
“You make it safe to discuss this subject with others and not keep it locked up inside.”
It tells a story of Taren Foley, who survives her second suicide attempt within a week, and is sent to a psychiatric facility for three days of observation and analysis. Quickly realizing she has no intention of taking her life in the future, she alienates herself from the patients and staff, biding her time until she can be released. When circumstances force her to remain locked up all weekend, a compassionate Taren makes an effort to help her fellow patients with their issues, unaware she still neglects her own. By the time she is released on Monday, Taren has yet to feel better about her life, but there is hope that one day, she might.
The story is told with a surprising amount of humour, which keeps it entertaining while giving the audience a break from the drama.
The film has garnered a great deal of interest from a wide range of people – not only those who identify with the main character’s search for understanding within herself but others who have lost people close to them and want to understand why.
The appeal of the story is that it exposes psychological issues still mostly hidden throughout society yet everyone in the world either knows someone who’s experienced these things or felt this way themselves.
The true story Eyes Upon Waking is based on, is actually the one of its writer, Jennifer Scott. She tells it’s a passion project of hers, about the disease of suicide and how it is misunderstood by society. “This film uncovers the darkness in the minds of those who suffer from their emotions, yet shows how light can be found with the right kind of help. Those who are lost to us cannot be returned – I want to bring awareness of what they went through to those they’ve left behind. It is for any person with a friend or family member who has taken their own life and is left asking why”
Apart from writing the story, she is also the main star in the film, which is, considering what she went through,a great challenge for the actress. While shooting the first 8 minutes of the film, she had to relive the exact events happening years earlier when she almost succeeded in ending her own life.
Suicide, mental health and depression are still heavily stigmatised and many are afraid to talk about it openly, which is why films like this can help to open the door to a more understanding society.
While many suffer, thousands lose their battle with depression and decide to take their lives. If by opening up, assuring them that society is prepared to listen, to talk and to report without prejudice, their lives can be improved and deaths prevented – we should take it seriously.
Films like Eyes Upon Waking should continue to be made.
At the moment the film is in production and we’ll definitely be on the lookout for when it’s complete.