Sanity is in the Mind of the Beholder


So on Thursday I decided to go out with the girls, Anna and Jameela, who is now living with us. Nothing ‘big’, we went to see a film with friend Bee, who is a native Iskanderany. I hadn’t been to the cinema for f*cking ages and I was rather excited at the prospect of watching a film on the big screen. We missed the first 15 minutes or so which was quite annoying. Apparently they don’t do adverts and trailers in Egyptian cinemas. Or maybe they do but the listed time is the time when the actual film starts, not the ads and trailers. You learn something new every day. We went to see Shutter Island, which in my opinion is a wicked, wicked film. It all made up for the nasty,salty popcorn- I prefer sweet but they didn’t have it and failed to tell me so-  the rather noisy audience, children included, which I found rather worrying since this seemed very much an at least 15+ rated film and it was the 10 o’clock screening. But hey, this is Egypt, get over it fairy face.

Shutter Island is set in 1954 and is about a US Marshall Teddy Daniels played by Leonardo di Caprio, who witnessed the horrors of the holocaust as a soldier. He is investigating the disappearance of an inmate at a mental institution, who apparently has killed her children and is deemed dangerous. He has been wanting to take on this assignment for personal reasons as there seemed to be a lot of unethical things going on at the institution and Teddy Daniels with his clever mind seem to have found a lead to solving the mystery. The photography of the film and the suspense are brilliant and there are several plot twists that keep you on the edge of your seat. For me the film is about what sanity is. I absolutely loved the film and find it one of those works of art that you have to see a second or maybe a third or fourth time. Jameela wasn’t too impressed. She doesn’t like films with a lot of blood and death. I wouldn’t say Shutter Island is a bloody film, but some images, most of them dream sequences, are quite grim, but beautiful in their surreality. For Anna the film was very clear, she liked it but wouldn’t go and see it for a second time. For me the film was not that clear in the sense that I still had quite a lot of questions, which the others couldn’t answer to my satisfaction. I think it would be made clearer when watching it a second time. In the film they mess with Daniels head or he messes with his own depending on your interpretation, but the film was messing with my head too and it makes me think about what (in)sanity is or what it is considered to be. In dictatorships and totalitarian regimes someone who doesn’t agree with the system and tries to fight it might be considered insane and be put away in a camp or mental institution. In our free and democratic eyes this person is not insane at all. Back in the days when you were epileptic they probably considered you insane while now we know there is nothing wrong with your sanity. While physical health seems a lot more straight forward I somewhere find it quite scary that mental health besides physiology very much depends on the assumptions and attitude of the time, place and the system. My slight off-the-wallness, which might be considered entertaining in one place, could be considered a concern or a right out threat in another. This fairy is very much an individualist and believes the uniqueness of the individual should be acknowledged and celebrated. I don’t really believe I’m a threat to the Egyptian system but individuality is most definitely not approved of as any form of subculture seems non-existent.

But I’m digressing. Go see Shutter Island if you haven’t already done so, ’cause it and you are worth it.


About Lemba

Non-conformist Writing Soul and Language Geek from the Lowlands with a South London accent, currently living a nomadic, location- independent lifestyle. While executing the Big Fat Writing Plan I’m invading cyberspace with my views on 'expat living', travel and other lifestyle choices, current affairs and other randomness. Welcome to the Dark Fairy Zone.

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