1/14: #FilmDis & DVP Twitter chat on “Split” & Mental Health
#FilmDis Twitter Chat
“Split” & Mental Health
Saturday, January 14, 2017
4 pm Pacific/ 7 pm Eastern
Co-Hosts: Dominick Evans @dominickevans and Alice Wong @DisVisibility
The Disability Visibility Project™ is proud to partner again with activist/filmmaker Dominick Evans in his weekly #FilmDis Twitter chats. This chat will center on latest psychological horror film by M. Night Shyamalan: “Split.” The film’s main character has dissociative identity disorder played by James McAvoy. We will discuss the harmful messages about people with mental health disabilities in films like “Split” and many others.
Please note that this chat may be triggering and distressing to many. Please practice self-care.
How to Participate
Follow @dominickevans and @DisVisibility on Twitter.
Use the hashtag #FilmDis when you tweet.
Check out this explanation of how to participate in a chat by Ruti Regan: https://storify.com/RutiRegan/examplechat
Questions for #FilmDis chat
Welcome to #FilmDis! Today we will talk about the upcoming horror film “Split” & its depiction of disability and mental illness.
During our #FilmDis chat, please note: MH = Mental Health and DID = Dissociative Identity Disorder
Please note that this #FilmDis chat may be triggering and distressing to many. Please practice self-care.
If you are curious, here is a link to the trailer for “Split”. Trigger warning for violence, ableism https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84TouqfIsiI #FilmDis
Q1 The main character in “Split” has dissociative identity disorder. He is also the villain. How old is this cliché? #FilmDis
Q2 How often do you see stereotypes of people w/ MH disabilities as ‘dangerous and violent’ in film, tv, & media? Examples? #FilmDis
Q3 How do these harmful stereotypes and tropes impact actual disabled people in society? Have you been hurt by them? #FilmDis
Q4 Based on what you do know about “Split,” what else is problematic about this psychological horror film? #FilmDis
Q5 What are some ways Hollywood gets psychiatry, institutionalization, and mental health super wrong? #FilmDis
Q6 Have you seen any films that depict people w/ MH disabilities in a way that’s not gross caricature steeped in ableism? #FilmDis
Q7 What are the long term implications of the continued creation of characters that vilify MH disabilities? #FilmDis
Q8 Instead of Split are there any films you know of that get MH disabilities right? Do any get DID right? #FilmDis
Q9 What would you like @mnightshyamalan to know about Split and his depiction of DID? #FilmDis
Q10 Do you plan to protest Split on 1/20? How can we better protest cripping up and harmful disability portrayals in 2017? #FilmDis
This concludes our #FilmDis chat. Thank you for participating and keep the conversation going!
I think you need to be careful before you assume that M Night Shyamalan and James McAvoy would take part in a project which casts dissociative identity disorder in a poor light. I haven’t seen it yet but I’ll bet you anything it will be a tense thriller about overcoming adversity.
There is a concept called – don’t think of an elephant and by taking about how bad something is you tend to reinforce it.. Why not highlight films that accurately portray living with mental illness vs a largely discredited and if credible extremely rare disorder that you only see on TV soap operas not in the clinic.
I don’t think the focus is solely on negative films but there are so many of them out there it’s important to critique them. I’m constantly looking for better portrayals and am always eager to find them and talk about them. For example, I wrote this essay about Finding Dory: https://disabilityvisibilityproject.com/2016/06/27/finding-dory-disability-culture-and-collective-access/
Thanks for your feedback!