‘That’s Life’ – Directed by Sara Pizzi S|R|P|Z

Description (written by Sara Pizzi)  *日本語訳下

During Covid-19 pandemic, my attention fell into the “mood swings”. 

I saw it following me during the day affecting my normal actions and emotions. More and more as I was digging into these sensations I discovered how much this not only affects my day and thoughts, but also people close to me. How powerful the mind is able to determine our day and relationships. By the way, this is part of our daily life, something that we have to deal with, it is considered normal. 

Soon, I reflected on a similar subject who is not considered normal by most of the people and society. 

Five years ago, I had a chance to work in a mental health care house dealing everyday with people affected by mental disorders. Something that really broke my heart was hanging out after work and hearing comments like:

<<Be careful to work with “weirdos” so you don’t become weird too.>>

 This was really painful to hear, most of all to acknowledge that this is the common sense of people regarding individuals affected by mental disorders. 

Coming back to my primary thought, while I was thinking what could be associated to my interpretation of “mood swings”, I reconnected my memories to some people I worked with affected by Bipolar Mental Disorder, a disease characterized by periods of depression and periods of abnormally elevated mood that last from days to weeks each. Of course, I’m aware that for many reasons these two elements cannot be associated, like the length of these extreme emotional states: mood swings are characterized by quick change of mood, while bipolar disorder defines a mental condition for a long period of time.

But something I felt wrong in this was “why are people allowed to have mood swings and not be judged, while someone affected by long periods of depression and elevated mood are?”. 

Both mood swings and bipolar disorder are medical conditions that affect our daily actions and thoughts. 

By the way, this (medical condition) does not define your humanity and how you socialize with people. We are still speaking about people with a life, dreams, work, relationships. 

Starting from it, I recovered my old notes and journal of patients affected by bipolar disease who I work with. Few sentences I found interesting that were agreeing with my thoughts were:

<<It is like having a nail in my brain that I cannot take it out.>>

<<Having bipolar disorder is not painful, more painful is the label that people put on us.>>

<<I’m just sadder and happier than you.>>

This was my starting point for my research. I used specific music, movements and camera work in the aim to make people feel a different range of emotions in a few minutes. In addition, (I used specific music, movements and camera work) to underline the density of each emotion and how the emotions can change drastically during the day.

I decided to use a raw and rough camera technique because this piece is speaking about life and I wanted it to look like a sequence of scenes during daily life taken with a phone. I don’t want it to look like a perfect dance movie for the theater, instead I want it to look like a hidden camera filming the private life and thoughts of the person filmed (Aika). 

In addition, I wanted to honor the words and people that inspired me (people I assisted while I was working in the mental health care center), including some elements that patients shared with me.

Each element used in the piece had a meaning.

-The t-shirt symbolizes the label (judge, stereotype, stigma) that society places in new situations without knowing how to react to them. This (unpreparation in form of situations) sometimes cause misunderstanding and judgemental decision that can hurt people – or even worst can define “NOT NORMAL” (label) behavior that are normal, but since the society doesn’t know how to define and react in front of it, the reaction is labeling as “NOT NORMAL.” 

-The nails symbolize HOW MUCH a mental condition (bipolar or mood swings, like also emotions, other illnesses, like happiness, sadness, depression, ecc…) can affect each individual and how it is something it cannot disappear magically in one second, it is a journey and sometimes it is a condition you have to learn to live with for all your life.

-The shadows and reflections symbolize that all the elements and events around us affect us, but it is our decision to define who we want to be. 

Mental conditions are not defining our value or personality. Acting against emotions and the unknown is not going to make us lead a society based on solidarity. 

Openness, listening and acceptance of yourself and others are going to make this path easier for everyone. 

Director, Creator, Choreographer, Videographer: Sara Pizzi

Performer: Aika Takeshima

ディスクリプション by Sara Pizzi

























監督、クリエーター、コレオグラファ―、ビデオグラファー:Sara Pizzi

パフォーマー:Aika Takeshima

Film Competition

Kadoma International Film Festival – Preliminary Round Selection